Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Applied Physiology, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2017
  • M.A., Secondary Curriculum and Instruction, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1994
  • B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 1988
Licenses & Certifications
  • Associate Safety Professional (ASP)
  • Certified English XL Tribometrist (CXLT)
Additional Education & Training
  • University of Colorado Health Sciences Medical School, 1997-1998
  • Human Factors for Medical Devices training program, AAMI University, 2022
Academic Appointments
  • Academic Professional, Neuroscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2017-2019
  • Program Instructor, Anatomy, Physiology & Medical Ethics, Duke TIP, 2015
  • Science Teacher, Grandview High School, 1998-2012
  • Science Teacher, Prairie Middle School, 1992-1998
Professional Honors
  • NIH Fellow for Prosthetics and Orthotics Research Training, 2013-2016
  • Georgia Institute of Technology Presidential Scholarship, 2013-2017
  • Colorado Teacher of the Year, Semi-Finalist, 1998
Professional Affiliations
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2019-present
  • Society for Neuroscience, 2015-present
  • Board of Certified Safety Professionals, 2021-present
  • Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), 2022-present

Dr. Lawson is an expert in human perception and cognition, cognitive and motor skill development, and how training methodology, prior knowledge, and environmental conditions affect decision-making and behavior. 

She investigates human factors and human performance issues in a wide variety of contexts including product warning and safety information; hazard identification involved with slips, trips and falls; response during emergency situations; motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents; evaluation of consumer, medical device, and industrial product interactions; and eyewitness perception and memory. Dr. Lawson has also done work in consumer product risk analysis, user testing, and evaluation of the adequacy of instructions and warnings in fields including transportation, athletic, medical device, and childrens' products. She uses a variety of methodologies, including surrogate and user studies, video analysis, standards compliance analysis, injury database analysis, tribometry, and accident reconstruction.

Before joining Exponent, Dr. Lawson completed her graduate studies as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Cognitive Motor Control Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research work, under a National Institutes of Health Fellowship for Prosthetics and Orthotics, identified neurobehavioral measures predictive of motor skill learning and subsequent ability to transfer motor skills to novel situations. Dr. Lawson's research studied how the quality and speed of movements change during motor learning with specific assessment of concurrent changes in the visual and motor systems. Dr. Lawson has also provided consultation on projects examining visuomotor changes associated with dehydration and with child motor skill development. 

After completing her degree, Dr. Lawson joined the faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology as a founding member for the undergraduate neuroscience program, providing expertise in the cognitive, perceptual, and decision-making aspects of the program. Dr. Lawson's 25 years of experience in education provides valuable insight into approaches for the delivery of instructional materials and training, child, adolescent, and older adult cognitive and motor developmental abilities and limitations, including situational awareness and decision-making with consumer products, vehicles, warnings and instructions, and the environment.