About the Team

UKFin+ Academics and Professional Services

Aad van Moorsel

Principal Investigator (Lead)

Professor and Head of School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

In his current research he is spearheading efforts in financial inclusion, leading the FinTrust project in collaboration with Atom Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Turing Institute and has led large interdisciplinary research projects for a total of over £20m throughout his career.

Prior to joining Birmingham he established Newcastle University’s NCSC/EPSRC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and pioneered degree apprenticeships as Director of the Institute of Coding at Newcastle.

During his time at Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs Research and HP Labs he gained ample experience of industry-style research and research management, and he co-founded the startup CloudIdentity Ltd in human-centric identity management, which since has been successfully sold.

He is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed research articles and of 4 US patents.  For Professor Aad van Moorsel’s publications, please see Aad’s Google Scholar profile.

Jing Chen


Professor in Financial Mathematics, School of Mathematics, Cardiff University

Professor Maggie Chen is a Professor of Financial Mathematics at School of Mathematics, Cardiff University.  Her current research focuses on FinTech, financial markets, microstructure, financial networks, financial jumps and contagion. 

She is editor of the European Journal of Finance (EJF), IMA Journal of Management Mathematics and of special issues for EJF and Quantitative Finance in “Hawkes processes in Finance”. She leads various Fintech initiatives including the FinTech theme lead in the Data Transformation Innovation Institute  (DTII, Cardiff), deputy lead of the Economic Intelligence theme in the strategic partnership between Cardiff and the Office of National Statistics (ONS), and advises the Finance, Economics section for the Royal Society of Statistics and Center for Research toward Advancing Financial Technologies (CRAFT) funded by the Natural Science Foundation (USA).  

She holds adjunct/visiting professorships in various world-leading universities like Columbia, UCL and Renmin University. Meanwhile, she has rich experiences in communicating with fund managers, insurance brokers, traders, mortgage lenders and other financial service practitioners across the world.

Karen Elliott


Chair (Full Professor) of Practice in Finance and Fintech Business School, University of Birmingham

Professor Karen Elliott is Chair (Full Professor) of Practice in Finance and FinTech at Birmingham University Business School and Co-Director of the FinTech MSc Degree Programme. She has been named as ‘Standout #35 Women in FinTech Powerlist by Innovate Finance’ for Policy and Governance 2019, 2020 and listed for the new Hubs (governance) category in 2021. In addition, is an Advisory Board member to Incuto, championing access to fair and affordable finance.

Karen co-leads FinTrust, Agency, and the UKFin Network+ projects (£1.2m/£3.5m/£2.5m EPSRC/UKRI) with Prof van Moorsel to optimise trustworthy and ethical AI, engineered to deliver citizen transparency, fairness, and inclusion. Likewise, co-led Finclusion (Gates Foundation/Turing Institute £100k), which explored verifiable credentials for vulnerable groups, focusing on dementia in the digital economy following her mother’s diagnosis.

A member of the Prime Minister’s Champions Group for Dementia, Corporate Digital Responsibility, ForHumanity, Radix, the IEEE Global Initiative Planet Positive and an Ambassador for the Digital Poverty Alliance, Karen creates a fusion of academic and practical ethical considerations at the individual and societal level, seeking to find balance for an equitable digital society while protecting and sustaining the planet.

William Knottenbelt


Professor of Applied Quantitative Analysis Department of Computing, Imperial College London

Prof William Knottenbelt is Professor of Applied Quantitative Analysis in the Department of Computing and Director of the Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering (IC3RE) at Imperial College London.

He serves on the editorial board of the cryptocurrency/blockchain journal Ledger, is an editor of Performance Evaluation Journal, and has served as General or Program chair of numerous conferences and workshops related to blockchain, cryptocurrency and quantitative analysis including the IEEE International Conference on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.

He is an expert of the World Economic Forum on blockchain and is technical advisor to several companies including Aventus, Predyktable, DeepRender and DeepSearch Labs. He also holds £3m+ lifetime research funding from EPSRC, Innovate UK and industry and accumulated 200+ peer-reviewed papers generating 5000+ citations.

John Vines


Professor and Chair of Design Informatics School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

Prof John Vines research focuses on exploring societal implications of data-driven technologies, typically through co-creative methodologies and by prototyping new systems for in-the-world evaluation.

He has been investigator on grants of approx. £25m and co-leads the co-creation and social innovation theme on the EPSRC Digital Economy Centre for Digital Citizens. For 10 years, he has conducted research on issues of financial inclusion and digital service design.

He is partly seconded to the UKRI SIPF funded Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence, working at the intersection of academia and FinTech industry, and completed an EPSRC IAA project examining the role of design methodologies in addressing AI governance challenges in the financial service industry. He is a Co-I on an ESRC funded NetworkPlus on loneliness, social isolation and mental health, leading on its digital interventions strand.

Sheena Robertson

Project Manager

School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

Sheena brings extensive breadth and depth of research project management experience to the project, combined with expertise in academia-industry engagement gained at the Warwick Manufacturing Group.  Sheena holds a BSc Hons in Business and Management from the University of Salford, and a Masters by Research from the University of Warwick.

Helen Orpin

Project Officer

School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

After achieving a First Class Degree in Biology from the University of Birmingham, Helen went on to work as a Business Development Coordinator in the Personal Care market, responsible for leading the marketing strategy for the division as well as managing her own territory. Progressing to become an Innovation Commercialisation Manager, project managing new product development projects across multiple markets.

She now uses these skills as communications and project officer for both the UKFin+ and AGENCY projects at the University of Birmingham.

Hassan Naveed

Research Associate

School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

Hassan is a post-doctorate research fellow at the University of Birmingham. Hassan brings Fintech research experience to the UKFin+ project and will assist the team in galvanizing the impact of this project all across the UK. Hassan has been awarded a Distinction in MSc International Business Management by Newcastle University and holds a PGCert in Research Methodology from the University of Strathclyde.