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Julia has spent a lifetime working with rare books and manuscripts relating to the history of engineering. She contributed a chapter to ‘Robert Stephenson: the eminent engineer’ (edited by Michael Bailey) and wrote a number of entries on lighthouse and gas engineers for volumes 2 & 3 of the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Biographical Dictionary.
She also prepared the catalogue of the Noble Collection of Brunel papers, housed at the Brunel Institute in Bristol, which laid the foundations for her knowledge of this remarkable, if sometimes controversial, engineer.
She is a Past President of the Newcomen Society (the first woman to hold this position) and wrote her presidential address on the development of the Fresnel refracting lighthouse lens. She is a long-standing member of the I.Struct.E. History Study Group and an honorary member of the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers.
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