I did an undergraduate degree in one engineering discipline (electrical), and a course based masters in the same discipline of engineering (electrical) and another course based masters in another discipline of engineering (civil).
The undergraduate GPA is very poor, but the masters GPAs were better: 3.7 in the one in a different field than the undergrad (civil) and 3.3 in the same field as undergrad (electrical). I have done more than 20 graduate courses as a non degree student with a GPA of 3.8 in civil and electrical engineering.
I want to apply for PhD as opposed to Masters with thesis in the same discipline as my undergraduate degree and one of my masters degrees (both electrical). I do not have particularly strong recommendations apart from doing well in course work, and no research papers or research experience. I would like to do research in academia or an industrial research lab.
Can I get into a PhD with a very poor undergraduate record and no thesis based masters degree - or should I do a thesis masters degree first ? How can I show potential for research ?