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ERG Team

The ERG has built a strong reputation internationally as a solid partner that delivers on project outcomes. The group adopts a distinct interdisciplinary ethos which allows us to examine issues from not only a risk transfer perspective but also from legal risk and applied ethics standpoints. One of our unique selling points resides in our ability to bridge the gap between Europe’s scientific community and the insurance industry. In terms of research impact, we are working on two of the most valuable emerging technologies in Europe, assisted/automated driving and nanotechnology. The group has had two recent papers published in the Nature Nanotechnology, the most prestigious journal in the field. In both these areas, the involvement of the insurance industry as a key stakeholder is essential in order to facilitate the development of these technologies. We leverage our links with the London insurance market, including Lloyd’s of London and XL Catlin in order to bring the risk transfer/management perspective into research consortia working in these fields. The future roll out of automated driving will imply changing patterns of liability and hence the insurance industry will be an important stakeholder going forward. We are currently working with a number of insurance partners to create new underwriting protocols in order to facilitate growth in this dynamic industry.

Professor Raymond J FRIEL joined the School of Law at University of Limerick in 1989. Since then, he was Head of School for nine years and University Advocate for four years. He has held visiting Professorships at Boston College Law School, Western University Law School in Canada, the University of New Hampshire Law School and the University of Kansas Law School. His areas of specialisation are contract and commercial law and he has authored leading treatises on contract, tax and business law. He has published extensively both nationally and internationally in prestigious law reviews, including the International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Fordham Journal of International Law, Common Law World Review, Arbitration, North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, Journal of Legal Education, Washburn Law Review and University of Kansas Law Review, to name a few. Currently he is Director of the International Commercial and Economic Law Research Group and is an examiner for the Law Society of Ireland entrance examination. He has also been appointed to several Universities as an external examiner and has been invited as an expert referee for a number of journals.

Dr Barry Sheehan is a college teacher in risk management, insurance and finance in the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick. He is a researcher and InsurTech innovator with actuarial and analytics experience gained through positions at Allianz Ireland, RSA, and Hannover Re. With a professional background in actuarial science, his research uses machine-learning techniques to estimate the changing risk profile produced by emerging technologies. He is contributing member of Emerging Risk Group (ERG) at the University of Limerick which has a long established expertise in insurance and risk management and has a continued success within large research consortia including a number of EU H2020 and FP7 research projects.

Darren Shannon is a PhD researcher working under the tutelage of Dr. Finbarr Murphy at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, as part of the Emerging Risk Group (ERG). He is directly involved with the EU-funded VIDAS and Cloud-LSVA research projects, which both seek to map out the impact of the ascending autonomous vehicle industry. Darren’s research focus is centred on the econometrics of road traffic accidents, as well as studying the effects that emerging advancements in self-driving technology will have on the motor insurance industry. He is a frequent collaborator with the Institute of Insurance at the Technical University of Cologne (TH Köln) and Honda Research Institute Europe (HRI-EU), as part of an effort to develop upon these topics.

Martin Cunneen is currently working on a number of EU Commission funded research projects relating to ethics and emerging technology, these include the VI-DAS and Cloud-LSVA consortia’s. He has carried out research in polythetic methods of conceptual analysis, specifically in relation to emerging technologies. He has over 8 years’ experience teaching applied ethics and numerous other modules. He currently lectures on the subject of Risk and Governance of Emerging Technologies, and the Philosophy of Science. His previous work has ranged from commercial ICT projects, community-based technology programs, to consulting on Big Data analytics projects. His current research focus is on the ethics of driverless car decision ontologies, machine morality, data privacy, the philosophy of A.I and the anticipatory ethical analysis of emerging technologies and data privacy.

Florian David-Spickermann is a Postgraduate working for SCOR Global P&C Reinsurance. Alongside his work in the Underwriting Department, he is currently researching the impact of automated vehicles along the value-chain between the primary and reinsurance sector. Hence, he is involved in EU projects VIDAS and Cloud-LSVA funded under the MG3.6 and ICT 16 calls respectively. Due to his educational background and occupational activity, Florian has strong ties with the primary and reinsurance sector enabling him to assess automated driving especially in the context of actuarial issues and insurance risk theory. Applying the basic principles of insurance theory on this emerging risk and demonstrating the limits of the current underwriting approach is the subject of his first paper.

Fabian Pütz is a PhD student and Research Assistant at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, as part of the Emerging Risk Group (ERG). He is researching in joint cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Cologne (Technische Hochschule Köln), where he is member of the research centers for “Financial and Actuarial Risk Management (FaRis)” and “Reinsurance”.  Fabian’s research focus is centred on the potential strategic impacts of an increasing automation and interconnection of road vehicles to the insurance market with regards to the affected lines of business motor insurance, product recall and product liability. In detail, he evaluates the potential impacts of technical and legal developments to inherent risk characteristics, product design and competition-related aspects within the different lines of business.

Cian Ryan is a PhD student working under Dr. Finbarr Murphy and Dr. Martin Mullins at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick. His research centres on emerging technologies and insurance as part of an Emerging Risk Group. He is currently working on two EU commission funded projects, VI-DAS and Cloud-LSVA, relating to autonomous and connected driving and is a student member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. His recent publications include “Semi-Autonomous Vehicle Motor Insurance: A Bayesian Network Risk Transfer Approach”. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies 82 (2017): 124-137.

Irini Furxhi is a Ph.D. scholar with a Msc in Toxicology at the University of Limerick at Kemmy’s Business School. Her main research is a Quantitative Machine Learning approach for Risk Assessment of nanomaterials. She is involved in the PROTECT Project (Pre-commercial lines for production of surface nanostructured antimicrobial and anti-biofilm textiles, medical devices and water treatment membranes, http://protect-h2020.eu/) where existing Risk Assessment frameworks and Machine Learning Techniques will be used to best represent the human and environmental risk to business decision makers.

Tim Jannusch is a PhD student at the Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, as part of the Emerging Risk Group (ERG). In collaboration with the Institute for Insurance Studies (ivwKöln), TH Köln where Tim is Research Assistant at the Research Center for the Insurance Market, he is researching in the field of telematics.  His research focus is centred on the issue of data privacy and surveillance in telematics use. In doing so, he differentiates between the insurance market in Ireland and Germany. Due to the dedication of the University of Applied Sciences Cologne to the InsurLab Germany e.V. Tim is directly involved in the German and International InsurTech scene.

Dr Arash Negahdari Kia is a postdoc Marie Cuire scholar and research fellow at the Kemmy Business School (KBS), University of Limerick, a member of Lero Software Research Center and Emerging Risk Group (ERG). He is researching on the cybersecurity risks of autonomous vehicles using machine learning algorithms in a team supervised by Dr Finbarr Murphy at KBS, UL. In his PhD. He developed two graph-based semi-supervised algorithms for multivariate time series for global stock market indices prediction. In his Master’s, he developed neural network models for Forex market prediction. Arash’s other research interests include text mining, graph mining, and bioinformatics. 

Wei Xu is a PhD student at the Kemmy Business School (KBS), University of Limerick, as part of the Emerging Risk Group (ERG). He is researching in joint cooperation with the Fudan University in China, where he is a research assistant of the China InsurTech Laboratory (CITL). Instructed by Dr. Finbarr Murphy at KBS and Dr. Xian Xu at CITL, he develops research focus on the emerging applications and generated risks of InsurTech. He was involved in the projects of “Roadmap of Artificial Intelligence Application in China Insurance” and “Knowledge Graph of China Disease Insurance”.