Laura De Lorenzis, designated "Alfiere del Lavoro" by the President of the Italian Republic at the end of high school, graduated in Materials Engineering at the University of Lecce, Italy, summa cum laude and with honorable mention. Afterwards she pursued a Master of Science in Structural Engineering at the University of Missouri - Rolla (USA), and a PhD in Composite materials for civil engineering at the University of Lecce. She is currently Associate Professor of Structural Mechanics at the Department of Innovation Engineering of the University of Salento.
She spent frequent periods of research abroad at prestigious institutions: Visiting Scholar at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg (Sweden), Research Fellow at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Fulbright Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, USA, Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany.
Winner of numerous prizes for excellence in research. In 2009 she wins the first edition of the Prize of scientific excellence among the assistant professors at the University of Salento (science and technology area). IN 2011 she is awarded the prestigious Robert L'Hermite Medal from RILEM, the Aimeta Junior Prize for Structural mechanics from the Italian Association of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, and the IIFC Young Investigator Award from the International Institute for FRP in Construction.
In 2011 she is the recipient of an Ideas ERC Starting Research Grant, considered one of the most prestigious awards for research given by the European Community and attributed, on a highly competitive basis, to the best European scientists with PhD since no longer than 12 years, to encourage pioneering, frontier research in any field of science, engineering and culture. The obtained funding is about 1.4 million Euros for a project over 5 years. In the same year she is also recipient, as PI of the Unit at the University of Salento, of a FIRB project "Futuro in ricerca", in collaboration with Politecnico di Torino and University of Trento. The funding for the Lecce Unit is about 320.000 Euro for a project over 4 years.
She is a member of several european, american and asian code-writing organizations, member of the Editorial Board of ASCE Journal of Composites for Construction, associate editor of ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering and of Materials and Structures (Springer), reviewer for about 35 international journals. She is also reviewer for several funding agencies and for Wiley & Sons.
She has authored or co-authored more than 130 refereed publications, of which more than 40 papers on international journals and 4 book chapters. A
paper she co-authored with R. Tepfers on ASCE Journal of Composites for Construction received the "Honorable Mention Applied Research Paper for 2003".
Since 2005 she is regularly invited to join the Scientific Committee of International Conferences in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.
She has given numerous invited lectures at Italian and foreign institutions, among which University of Missouri - Rolla (USA), University of Edinburgh, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), Network Group for Composites in Construction (London, UK), Politecnico di Torino.
Her teaching portfolio includes classes of Mechanics of materials and fracture mechanics, Structural mechanics I and II, Statics and structural strengthening of the architectural heritage, Design of structures, all at the University of Salento. She has given numerous lectures and seminars within continuing professional education programs. She is a member of the Board of the PhD program in Materials and structural engineering at the University of Salento. She was a member of the final graduation committees of PhD programs in Italy (Lecce, Roma) and abroad (Adelaide, Newcastle, Bath, Cambridge).