Dr. Samal Abdikerimova (PhD, mathematics, ’22) and Professor Runhuan Feng have been awarded the (UK) Institute and Faculty of Actuaries' Geoffrey Heywood Prize in 2022 for their paper, “Peer-to-Peer Multi-Risk Insurance and Mutual Aid.” According to the Institute’s website, the Geoffrey Heywood Prize is an international prize for a paper or journal article that demonstrates excellent levels of communication and engagement with a general actuarial audience.

"It is truly an honor to receive this prestigious prize,” says Feng. “Decentralized insurance is a revival of centuries-old risk management practices with modern society. We are fortunate to witness the development of new businesses and technologies that are evolving around the world. Our team at the University of Illinois aims to decipher theoretical underpinnings of industry practices and to place them on a scientific footing. We hope to contribute to the advancement of decentralized insurance technology that makes insurance more inclusive, equitable, adaptive and open to all stakeholders."

Abdikerimova, who wrote the paper jointly with Feng while still a PhD candidate at Illinois, currently works an investment actuary in Germany.