Aihua Zhang

Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Actuarial ScienceAihua Zhang

School Career Tutor

School of Mathematics and Actuarial Science, University of Leicester

Email: az90 at

Member of Institute and Faculty of Actuaries' Risk and Customer Outcomes Research Working Party

Personal details

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

PhD in Financial Mathematics (Magna Cum Laude, Fraunhofer ITWM, Germany)

MSc in Financial Mathematics (1.0 Top grade,TU Kaiserslautern,Germany)

MBA study in Strategic Carbon Management (with Postgraduate Certificate in Management, UEA, UK)

MSc study in Economics (University of Edinburgh)

MSc in Mathematics Education (CCNU, China)

BSc in Mathematics (CCNU, China)

Prior to joining University of Leicester, I worked at Nottingham University Business School (China), University of Munich (LMU, Germany), University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews and China Petroleum University (Beijing).

I have been invited to act as a reviewer for the following international journals:

Quantitative Finance; Mathematical Finance; IMA Journal of Management Mathematics; Journal of Industrial and Management Optimization; Investment management and Financial Innovations; Applied Mathematics and Computation; ANZIAM Journal; Stochastics; European Actuarial Journal; North American Actuarial Journal; Annals of Actuarial Science.


Statistics and CT8 Financial Economics

Research Interest:

  • Actuarial Science: Pensions, Annuities, longevity/mortality-linked products, Risk Management, Determinants of Life Expectancy and Mortality Risk.
  • Financial Mathematics: Asset Pricing, Portfolio Management
  • Data Analytics, AI and Machine Learning
  • Economics: Economic Dynamics and Econometrics

Research Impact

Press Release

Links to some news outlets report on my research: The Independent, The Huffington Post , Inside Higher Education, The National Student, Yahoo News, Breitbart. My research was also featured in the ‘i’ newspaper and The Sun.

Major grants and honours

  • 2018: Principal Investigator, Value £40,009.59, UK SMR Programme, Rolls-Royce.
  • 2018: College of Science & Engineering Studentship (3.5 years) (Principal supervisor), joint with Dr. Huiyu Zhou (Computer Science) and Prof. Heiko Balzter (Geography).
  • 2012-2015: Grant Holder (PI), Research Grant  ¥ 260,000 (≈ £30,000 / $52,000), National Natural Science Foundation (China) 国家自然科学基金面上项目
  • 2011-2012: Grant Holder (PI), Research Grant ¥ 50,000 (≈ £5,675 / $10,000), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation (China)
  • 2011-2012: Grant Holder (PI), Research Grant ¥ 30,000 (≈ £3,400 /$6,000), Ningbo Natural Science Foundation (China)
  • 2009: Candidate for Ningbo ‘4321 Talent Project’+ ¥ 10,000 prize (≈£1,135 / $2000) ,  Ningbo Municipal Government, China



  1. Zhang, A., Zhang, Y., Zhao, Y. and Borgia, D. (2019) Portfolio Selection in Heston's Stochastic Volatility Model Using a Contingent Claim.
  2. Dias, A, Ismail, I. and Zhang, A. (2019)  Copula Based Hierarchical Risk Aggregation: Evidence from Australian Insurance Industry, presented at the 21st International Congress on Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Vienna, July 6-7, 2017.
  3. Lam, K.K, Wang, B. and Zhang, A. (2019) Unemployment and mortality rates: evidence from Japan.
  4. Ewald, C.,  Zhang, A., and Zong, Z. (2019)  On the consistency of benchmark approaches to calibrate the Schwartz two-factor model for commodity futures.
  5. Debt,  Deficits, and Finite Horizons: the continuous time stochastic case (joint with Christian Ewald, Charles Nolan, 2019).
  6. Sabri, N.A.A. and Zhang, A (2019) Optimal investment, consumption and annuitization with uncertain lifetime.
  7. Ewald, C., Wu, Y. and Zhang, A. (2018) Pricing Asian Options with Stochastic Convenience Yields and Jump Diffusions.

Recent refereed journal and media articles

    1. Andrés-Sánchez, J. d., González-Vila P. L. and Zhang, A. (2020) Incorporating Fuzzy Information in Pricing Substandard Annuities. Computers & Industrial Engineering.
    2. Ewald, C., Zhang, A., Zhe, Z. (2018) On the calibration of the Schwartz two-factor model to WTI crude oil options and the extended Kalman Filter, Annals of Operations Research.
    3. The IFoA's Risk and Customer Outcomes Working Party, IFoA (2018) How can we improve the customers' experience of our life products? British Actuarial Journal, Vol 23, 2018. Won Geoffrey Heywood Prize 2018
    4. Zhang, A. (2018) New Findings on Key Factors Influencing the UK's Referendum on Leaving the EUWorld Development, Volume 102, February 2018, Pages 304-314. Altmetric report
    5. Zhang, A. (2017) What could have tipped the EU referendum result in favour of Remain, August 16, 2017, The Conversation.
    6. Ewald, C., Zhang, A. (2017) On the Effects of Changing Mortality Patterns on Investment, Labour and Consumption under Uncertainty. Insurance Mathematics and Economics 73, March,105-115.

    PhD students

    1. Isaudin Ismail: Commenced in Nov. 2015, completed in Nov. 2018

    Fully funded by Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia

    2. Nur Ain Ayunni Sabri: Commenced in Sept 2015

    Fully funded by Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia

    3. Ka Kin Lam: Commenced in Nov. 2016

    Co-supervising with Dr. W Bo

    4. Muhammad Alkhudaydi: May 2017 - April 2019

    Fully funded by Saudi government

    5. Fang Chen: Commenced in March 2019

    Co-supervising with Informatics and Geography

    Funded by CSE and CSC studentships

    6.  Daniel Chappell: Commenced in Jan 2020



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