Norman E. Steere, 48, president of Hoste Systems Inc., Fairfax consulting engineers, died of cancer Tuesday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington.

He had founded the firm, an engineering management firm and electro-optical calibrating facility, in 1970.

Mr. Steere was born in White Plains, N.Y. After four years of submarine duty with the Navy, he attended Syracuse University where he graduated in 1957 with an electrical engineering degree. Later he earned a master's degree in engineering administration from George Washington University.

He came to the Washington area in 1958, and worked for Melpar for several years before becoming a civilian employe of the Army night vision laboratory at Fort Belvoir. He then worked as a civilian with the Navy's ship system command and electronics command.

Mr. Steere was a founder and officer of the Sutton Area Civic Association in Vienna and was active in Boy Scout Troop 152.

He is survived by his wife, Carol Z., two sons, James A. and Edward M., and a daughter, Nancy E., of the home in Vienna; another son, Kenneth E., of Herndon; another daughter, Kathryn Campbell, of Alexandria; three brothers, Claude A., of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Gordon W., of Thornwood, N.Y., and William E., of White Plains, and a sister, Eleanor Junghans, also of White Plains.