Simona is a designer and urbanist who is interested in working across traditional disciplinary boundaries to solve urban problems. Her research focuses on urban design and planning of tropical Asian cities with a strong emphasis on the impact of socio-cultural factors in shaping the built environment; livability and sustainability of urban spaces; walkability and pedestrianisation; mega events and their impact on the built environment.

Prior to commencing her appointment at James Cook University, she worked and researched for various renowned academic institutions as the National University of Singapore, UCL London, Politecnico di Milano, and Qatar University.