Laurel Rowe

2020 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader

Lead Scientist
Parker LORD

I am passionate about manufacturing because I enjoy seeing customers use products or solutions I helped engineer. I get to work with many different people across my organization and there is always an opportunity for me to learn something new.

Since joining LORD Corporation in 2016, Laurel has made a lasting impact through various technical contributions. While serving as a research chemist, her work contributed to the significant growth of LORD’s thermal management portfolio and future projected sales, including the development of two new products with current sales approaching $2 million.

Laurel also excelled when working directly with LORD’s largest automotive customer. She stepped up to help solve an issue where LORD’s product was experiencing failures during simulations. On a tight timeline, Laurel worked with a cross-functional team to engineer a more robust material. Her outstanding work not only fostered customer loyalty but fixed a problem that could have caused serious issues for vehicle owners.

Laurel has risen quickly in the ranks at LORD. In addition to continuing with her own work expanding LORD’s adhesive portfolio, she recently assumed the role of lead scientist, managing six technicians and junior scientists who are developing next-generation solutions to support LORD’s growth in the electric vehicle market.

As a mentor, Laurel willingly lends her time to develop others. For instance, while working with summer interns, both of whom were women, not only did she provide day-to-day direction, she exceeded typical mentor duties by arranging for the interns to network cross-functionally. Post-internship, Laurel continues to support these young women. One is completing her college degree; the other is now a full-time LORD employee.

Laurel also represents LORD at WakeEd Partnership, a nonprofit that connects community schools to local businesses to provide real-world learning. In discussions with a school principal, Laurel learned that current STEM initiatives were failing to impact the school’s large Hispanic population. She reached out to one of her colleagues in Mexico, who agreed to video chat with a group of students in Spanish, improving communication and program effectiveness. Because of this success, the school is now seeking to connect more global companies with its minority students.