Who we are

The Centre has been created with the aim of building a pipeline of FinTech talent that ultimately facilitates the global digital economy and will work in collaboration with a number of industry partners who are part of the Strategic Development Board of the Centre.

What we are doing

Five main streams of focus: 

  • Outstanding research in FinTech
  • Projects with commercial relevance
  • Engagement with FinTech industry 
  • Policy and regulatory work 
  • FinTech education

Objectives: 

  • To be a hub for expertise, research, and information on all aspects of Financial Technology in a globalised world.
  • To be a dynamic research group generating outstanding research on FinTech that ultimately facilitates the digital economy - through collaborative research among finance, technology and regulatory experts. 
  • To engage with industry by providing technology solutions on FinTech related challenges and problems.

Our contribution:

  • Current transitions - Examining the factors shaping the transition by individuals and businesses towards FinTech; highlighting the most supportive public policies.
  • Future trends - Observing trending services and making predictions on the direction of the industry as well as the requisite regulatory and policy approaches for the direction of the industry.
  • Bringing experts together - By engaging in projects which address key issues from different but complementary perspectives, drawing from our expertise in the three key areas of FinTech - finance, technology and law / regulation.

Recent public engagement and media appearance of Centre staff

Centre Directors

Dr Iwa Salami

Dr Iwa Salami is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Law at the Royal Docks School of Business and Law. She is the Interim Director of the Centre of FinTech; the Programme Leader for the LLM in FinTech Law and the Postgraduate Research Degrees in Law; and the Deputy Chair of the School's Research Degrees Sub-committee. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Centre for the Study of States, Markets and People and a member of the Governing Council of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA). Prior to joining UEL, she was a research fellow at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary, University of London where she also lectured. She has previously worked in the UK and abroad, including at the Government Legal Service and the African Development Bank.

Dr Salami has published extensively in the field of financial regulation in emerging economies and financial technology (FinTech) regulation. Her publications include numerous articles in internationally refereed journals and a book: Financial Regulation in Africa (Ashgate, 2012). She is currently researching regulatory frameworks for mobile payments; crowd-funding; Web 3.0 application in finance including crypto-assets, stablecoins, decentralised finance (DeFi), Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse; Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) - wholesale and retail; CBDCs and regional projects; and legal dimensions of DLT/ Blockchain Technology.

Dr Julie Wall

Dr Julie Wall is a Reader in Computer Science, leads the Intelligent Systems Research Group and is the Director of Impact and Innovation for the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering. Her research focus on machine/deep learning architectures, algorithms and applications for audio, speech and natural language understanding; biologically inspired deep learning for sound localisation, speech recognition and enhancement; privacy preserving intelligent systems for audio processing; developing industrial applications of automated decision-making machine and natural language understanding; and applications of intelligent systems to immersive virtual, augmented and mixed environments. Julie maintains close collaborative research and development links with industry.

Centre Staff

Amin Karami

Amin Karami is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Digital Technologies, leads the MSc Big Data Technologies programme at UEL, and is a Big Data Consular in several organisations. His research interests include Big Data Technologies, Computational Intelligence and Optimisation techniques. His research profile includes 750+ citations, h-index: 12 and i10-index: 14 since 2014. He has carried out several international research collaborations, such as at the Uppsala University, University of Skövde Sweden and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia Spain, several internal and external grants, such as Erasmus+ fund, UEL Research Internship Scheme and the award by Fondazione Rosselli for AIC workshop at Turin, Italy supported by projects TIN2013-47272- C2-2 and SGR-2014-881 from Barcelona, and several invited talks and presentations such as at Hangzhou Dianzi University China and IoT Technologies Conference (AIOTT) Hong Kong.

Dr Baoying Lai

Dr Baoying Lai  is a Senior Lecturer in Finance and her expertise is in Finance and Banking. She has published several papers in the European Journal of Finance (3*), Applied Financial Economics (2*), International journal of Strategic Decision Sciences (2*) and so on. She is currently researching in the area of green/sustainable finance.

Dr Eric Boahen

Dr Eric Boahen is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader at the Royal Docks School of Business and Law. Eric is a Chartered Accountant and a Member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA, UK). He completed his PhD from University of Sussex, UK. Prior to his doctoral studies, he obtained MBA and MSc degrees from University of Hull, UK and Henley Business School, UK respectively. Eric also holds Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the University of Greenwich, UK. He obtained his BSc in Accounting from the University of Ghana Business School. He is a Fellow Member of Higher Education Authority (HEA) in the UK. Prior to coming to academia, Eric worked as a Risk Manager in a reputable financial institution and as Audit Senior with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Eric has several years of working in the banking industry: specifically; in risk management, regulation and compliance roles.

Dr Fahimeh Jafari

Dr Fahimeh Jafari  is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and Postgraduate Research Lead for Department of Computer Science and Digital Technologies. Her research interests and expertise include AI-assisted Road Safety, Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Interconnection Networks, Performance Evaluation, Analytical Modelling, Optimisation Theory. Fahimeh has more than 15 years of experience in teaching, research, supervision of students and collaboration with research groups, projects, and companies such as Techbuyer, Intel, DPFE, and Ericsson. She has published papers in international conferences and prestigious journals like IEEE Transactions and ACM Transactions. She has been Editorial Board member, TPC member, and active reviewer of various international conferences/journals such as JPDC and Recent Patents on Computer Science.

Dr Hammad Hussain

Dr Hammad Hussain is a Senior Lecturer in Finance and has six years industry experience working in the fintech payments industry. He worked at senior management level and understands how to run and manage a small and medium sized fintech organisation. He was involved in managing compliance and operations including getting international licences to prepare for Brexit. His areas of interest in Fintech are Risk, Compliance and Operations, AML Regulations, International Licensing, Internal Compliance Audits and Quality.

Dr Hisham AbouGrad

Dr Hisham AbouGrad is a Lecturer in Computer Science and Digital Technologies.. He holds a DBA in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Workflow Systems Performance Using Business Process Management (BPM) Values from London South Bank University and has more than 20 years of experience in the IT industry and Higher Education. He holds an MSc in Software Engineering from University of Bradford and an MBA in Management from University of Lincoln. He is recognised as a Fellow of the UK higher education academy (FHEA) and qualified as a project management professional (PMP) in IT. His research interests and activities include BPM, Decision Support System (DSS), Workflow Systems Performance, Information Systems Measurement and Performance, ECM Systems, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, User Experience (UX) and Ecommerce Design and Development.

Prof Kirk Chang

Kirk Chang is a university professor, consultant, and researcher in the field of OB-HRM (Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management). Prof. Chang received a PhD in Occupational Psychology (Manchester) and has been working in both academic and consultancy fields for nearly three decades. He is a media commentator and has published book chapters, commissioned reports and peer-reviewed journal articles. He has presented research papers at conferences in fifteen countries.

Michael Harrison

Michael Harrison is a Lecturer in Finance and FinTech within the Royal Docks School of Business and Law. His research evaluates the role High Frequency Traders play in financial markets which require non-cooperative interaction between multiple trader types. He is also researching around the UK Challenger banks and the opportunities they present to the retail banking sector. He holds a certificate in FinTech validated by the University of Hong Kong and is recognised as a Certified FinTech Professional by the Global Academy of Finance and Management.

Dr Mimoza Shabani

Dr Mimoza Shabani is a senior lecturer in Economics and her research interests include include international banking, financial markets, financial regulation and financialisation. In particular, her research lies in understanding the role of banking and finance and their impact on the real economy. In an ever-changing banking environment where financial technology has increased significantly and plays a crucial role, there is a need to continue research capturing the new and innovative way of banking and finance.

Dr Mitra Saeedi

Dr Mitra Saeedi is a Senior Lecturer in Financial Technology at the RDSBL. She has designed courses and modules in Fintech at both postgraduate and undergraduate level and has supervised numerous dissertations and PhD thesis in this area. Her key areas of research expertise are Fintech, Financial Risk Management, Corporate Finance, Financial Management, Econometrics and Financial Innovation. Her research focuses on crowd funding investment, Bitcoin price volatility, financial fraud detection and prevention and short term dynamics in stock markets.

Dr Mohammad Amirhosseini

Dr Mohammad Amirhosseini is a Lecturer in Computer Science and Digital Technologies. His research interests and expertise include, but are not limited to, applications of AI and machine learning techniques in different areas such as Psychology, Cognitive Processing, Personality Type Prediction, Personality Development, Human-Computer Interaction, Natural Language Processing, Organisational Performance, Cyber Security, Identity Resolution, Fraud Detection, Phishing Attacks, and Social Network Analysis.

Dr Nadeem Qazi

Dr Nadeem Qazi is a senior lecturer at Department of Computer Science Digital Technologies. He earned his PhD in Machine Learning (ANN) from Cranfield University. His research interests and expertise include, but are not limited to, applications of AI , machine learning, NLP, Big data analytics and visualisation techniques in different areas such crime analysis, smart homes, Crypto Currency, assisted living, text mining, computer vision, human activity recognition ,Fraud Detection, Time series prediction, and Social Network Analysis. He has completed multiple EU funded projects and is a member of IEEE.

Dr Saeed Sharif

Dr Saeed Sharif is the Leader of Intelligent Technologies Research Group, Course Leader for MSc Computer Science and Course Leader for MSc Computer Science with Industrial Placement at the School of Architecture, Computing, and Engineering. He has a PhD in artificial intelligence. His research interests and expertise include Artificial Intelligence, Innovative Tele-Health, Medical Technology, Digital Health Care and Medical Assistive Technology, Medical Image Analysis and Visualisation, Intelligent Diagnosis Systems, Smart Biomedical Image and Bio Signal Acquisition (MRI, PET, EEG), Nanotechnology, Medical Biotechnology, and Big Data Analysis. He is working closely with clinicians and policy makers nationally and internationally to improve the clinical settings and the healthcare systems. He has led the research development of different research projects associated with many industries and NHS trusts. He has developed his research with the goal of improving the effectiveness, efficiency of medical and health care systems. Dr Saeed has published more than 56 articles in highly reputable journals, international conferences and book chapters, such as Elsevier Applied Soft Computing, Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, IEEE Access etc. He is a member of the technical committee of several international conferences, he has participated in many national and international conferences e.g., ICIP. He has served as a reviewer for many journals e.g., IET IPJ, Elsevier CBMJ. He is Guest Editor at an international journal. He received many academic and research awards. He is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, and a member of the British Computer Society.

Dr S. Ali Ghorashi

Dr S. Ali Ghorashi received his PhD in Telecommunications from King's College London in 2003 and has more than 20 years of experience in industry and academia on optimization and the applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on Cellular and Ad-hoc Communication Networks, self-drive cars, Internet of Things (IoT), Human Activity Recognition (HAR), and indoor positioning. He is a senior member of IEEE, has published more than 120 journal and conference papers and has experience in several national and European projects.

Dr Shampa Roy-Mukherjee

Dr Shampa Roy-Mukherjee is a Senior Lecturer in Economics and the Director of Impact and Innovation at the RDSBL. She is the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of States, Markets and People and Co-Director (Academic) of the Institute of Government and Public Policy. Her research includes the economic implications of financial and banking reform (including micro-finance, green and sustainable finance) in the MENA region and other emerging markets. Her publications are in the areas of applied macro and monetary economics, applied econometrics, development economics and political economy.