Zhang named ORMIR faculty scholar

10/13/2022 9:07:32 AM

X. Shelly ZhangAssistant professor X. Shelly Zhang is one of four faculty scholars selected by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for the 2022-2023 academic year to advance academic research on risk management and preparedness. Faculty scholars were announced by the University’s Office of Risk Management & Insurance Research (ORMIR) within Gies College of Business.

The researchers represent various colleges across the UIUC campus and are indicative of its world-class strengths in risk research, risk management and risk assessment.  The other 2022-2023 ORMIR scholars are assistant professor Nicolas Martin, Crop Science; professor Bruce Sherrick, Agricultural and Consumer Economics; and assistant professor of finance Qiping Xu, Gies College of Business.

Zhang's proposed research project involves establishing a risk-based digital twin model to real-time risk assessment of civil infrastructure under evolving environments. Research projects undertaken by the other faculty scholars include developing high-resolution crop indemnity datasets to better identify risk factors; providing an in-use ratings system to better evaluate crop insurance exposure; studying the triggers and consequences of pollutive asset divestitures and the effectiveness of these divestments in reducing pollution and climate risks.

The Office of Risk Management and Insurance Research, which is housed in the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business, was established to design research on critical issues facing the insurance industry and to engage students seeking careers in risk management and (re)insurance. Faculty scholars are funded by AXIS Capital (AXIS), an international specialty insurer and reinsurer.

“Among today’s challenges is an imperative to keep up with the speed of risk. That means organizations must amp up their preparedness to better manage uncertainty,” said ORMIR Director Lynne McChristian. “Since 2019, ORMIR has funded 18 risk-related research projects with support from AXIS. This important work is helping businesses and individuals manage their strategic risks while helping to build resiliency after disruption.”