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UW Crest with engineering background
April 17, 2024

Lawton honored for leadership in research administration

Written By: Renee Meiller


On April 16, 2024, Dean Ian Robertson held an event to recognize engineering faculty and staff for outstanding contributions. Noelle Lawton, senior research administrator in materials science and engineering, received the University and Academic Staff Distinguished Achievement Award.

Perhaps the greatest assurance for a faculty member who has put hours of effort into a research proposal is the partnership of an outstanding research administrator who can help to ensure the information is accurate, complete, compliant … and submitted on time. In materials science and engineering, that person is Lawton, who skillfully and effectively navigates the intricacies of pre- and post-award research administration on behalf of some-20 department faculty and the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. She is a recognized go-to expert for faculty as well as a mentor for new research administrator staff. She is dedicated and deadline-driven, often working late nights and weekends on urgent proposal- and grant-related tasks—all the while remaining pleasant and upbeat. She is an exceptional communicator and problem-solver.

Within the research admin community in the college, as well as across campus, Lawton is a collaborative leader who seeks and shares insights and best practices so that all can improve. In short, she has contributed quietly, yet innumerably, to the success and advancement of everyone around her. Says Professor Mike Arnold: “Noelle makes faculty more productive with less stress. Noelle is the one working behind the scenes so that we can more time on discoveries, invention and research!”