Lauren Taylor, a postdoctoral research associate in the Princeton Materials Institute, has been awarded the 2023 Dale Grieb Safety Award by the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) for her contributions to laboratory and workplace safety.

Taylor received the award Feb. 6 during the safety managers breakfast held by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. She received a cash prize of $2,500.

The Dale Grieb Safety Award was established in 2019 in honor of Dale Grieb, a longtime Princeton staff member who served as chemical engineering department manager and later as the SEAS director of administration and services. She died from pancreatic cancer in 2012. The award is given to those who have made a substantive and positive contribution to improving laboratory or workplace safety within the School.

A polymer chemist, Taylor serves as the safety officer for the laboratory of Richard A. Register, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and director of the Princeton Materials Institute. She has proactively taken several measures beyond managing day-to-day hazards, including disposal of outdated and hazardous lab chemicals and conducting informal weekly self-inspections of lab spaces.

Reflecting the broader impact of her work, she was nominated by researchers from four different labs, those led by Register, Emily Davidson, Rodney Priestley and Robert Prud’homme. According to the nomination letter, that group of 18 researchers collectively endorsed Taylor for her “exceptional contributions to our lab safety practices and cultures” and her “unwavering commitment to safety through mentorship.”

“I absolutely believe Lauren deserves this award for her contributions,” said Yejoon Seo, Priestley laboratory safety officer and 2022 Dale Grieb Award winner. Taylor helped Seo improve his lab-safety leadership efforts and develop laboratory-specific training protocols, he said.

The nominating group also cited Taylor’s commitment to empowering her fellow researchers. Katherine Gunter, who works in the Register lab, said she used to lack the confidence to speak up when she noticed a safety issue that needed correcting. “After Lauren joined, that all changed,” Gunter said. Taylor’s commitment to empowering others also extends to leadership roles such as chair of the Princeton Women In CBE group.

Taylor came to Princeton in 2021, having graduated from Rice University with a Ph.D. in chemical and biomolecular engineering. She earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell University.


  • Richard A. Register

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