Dr. Campanelli came to RIT in 2007 as the Director of the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation (see related story). She joined the faculty of the School of Mathematical Sciences from the Physics and Astronomy department at the University of Texas at Brownsville, where she served as the associate Director of the Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy and lead several computing projects (see PhysicsCentral).
Born in Switzerland, Campanelli received a 'Laurea' degree in Mathematics from the University of Perugia in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Bern in 1996. In 1998, she was awarded of a Marie-Curie Fellowship to work at the Max-Planck-Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), where she remained until 2001. There, she lead and developed the Lazarus project which provided the first insights into the physics of merging black holes.
In 2005, Campanelli and colleagues Carlos Lousto and Yosef Zlochower developed a new powerful numerical technique, known as moving puncture, solving a decade long-standing problem on simulating the merger of black holes in strong field general relativity (see related stories at: APS focus, New Scientist, Astronomy, etc).
In 2009, she was chosen to receive a Fellowship of the American Physical Society "for groundbreaking work on numerical simulations of binary black hole space times and for explorations of physical effects such as “super kicks” and spin-driven orbital dynamics." Campanelli has published numerous articles and lectures frequently on her research worldwide. She is also a member of the Ligo Scientific Collaboration and principal investigator in multiple NSF and NASA funded research projects.
In addition to her educational and research activities, Campanelli is active in professional service. She currently is the Vice-Chair the Topical Group on Gravitation and an executive member of the Division of Computational Physics of the American Physical Society. She regularly serves on many scientific boards, including review panels for the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and acts as referee of scientific journals.