Giulia is a member of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Before this, she was Full Professor of Geotechnics at Università di Roma “Tor Vergata” where she was Head of the Board of Studies in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She obtained a Laurea in Civil Engineering from Università di Napoli Federico II in 1989 and a PhD in Geotechnical Engineering from City University, London, in 1994. She has been MTS Visiting Professor of Geomechanics at the University of Minnesota, and Academic Visitor at Imperial College (JLE-Link Project), and at the Max Planck Institute, Leipzig.
The main thrust of Giulia's research is on the applications of soil mechanics to geotechnical engineering, and deals mainly with underground construction, foundation engineering, and earthquake geotechnical engineering. She has been involved in many infrastructural projects in Italy and the UK, including, e.g., monitoring building response to construction of the Jubilee Line Extension in London, the design and construction of Lines 1 and 6 of Napoli underground and of Line C of Roma underground, and the design of the foundations, anchor blocks and terminal structures of the Strait of Messina Bridge. She has carried out original research on tunnelling and construction processes, tunnelling induced damage assessment and connected mitigation and remedial measures, and performance based design of geotechnical structures under seismic actions, using a combination of field monitoring and laboratory observations, theoretical analyses, and physical and numerical modelling. Part of her research is also devoted to topics in fundamental soil mechanics, such as the mechanical behaviour of freezing ground and of granular materials with crushable grains.