Dr. Lawrence has been a key proponent of R&D globalization and is championing the effort to bring fiber optic connectivity to Africa. At Stevens, in addition to serving as Director of the Center for Intelligent Networked Systems, he serves as Associate Dean for Special Topics.

During his career, his personal research activities have provided major contributions to gigabit, photonic, and wireless networking, signal processing, modem technology, digital techniques, ATM switching and protocols, DSL, speech and audio coding, among other areas. His application of digital signal processing to data communications in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to many significant advances in high-speed transmission over copper lines (e.g., voiceband modems and DSL), and to the creation of Globespan Semiconductor Inc..

He was an early champion of VLSI for ATM/IP networks and helped to create two generations of ATM/IP silicon, including the industry leading ATLANTA ATM/IP chip set. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Lawrence has also been the recipient of many professional awards and honors such as; the IEEE Simon Ramo Medal, 2007, 2004 IEEE Award in International Communications, Member of National Academy of Engineering, 2003, IEEE Millennium Medal, 2000, Emmy Award for HDTV Grand Alliance Standard, 1997, Black Engineer for Outstanding Technical Contributions, 1995, Fellow of AT&T Bell Laboratories, 1992, Fellow of IEEE, 1987, 1986 University of California at Berkeley, Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series, 1984 J. Harry Karp Best Paper Award at Interface '84, and the 1981 Gullemin-Cauer Prize Award, IEEE Circuits & Systems Society.