UCL IXN and Vesuvio Labs celebrate third successful year of industrial placement partnership

5 min readDec 24, 2020

IXN Innovation (within UCL Computer Science) and Vesuvio Labs celebrate continuing into the third year of a successful partnership, which offers MSc Computational Finance students the opportunity to gain industry experience on independent, leading-edge research projects.

The Vesuvio labs partnership has been running for three years with up to 11 students per year and has also involved a number of other partners in the sphere of ML applied to Finance such as Naxxar Technology and Intellibonds. The partnership is part of the long-running UCL Industry Exchange Network (UCLIXN) program and operates under ‘ IXN Innovation’. Over the last three years, students on placement have been developing ML algorithms and how they apply to real-world business problems.

Alan Abdullah Gulle, Project Manager and Lead Data Scientist @ Vesuvio Labs 2019

At Vesuvio Labs, MSc Computational Finance students engage directly with the real challenges facing today’s insurance industry. These postgraduate students work closely with Vesuvio Labs’ in-house data science team, developing machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, augmented by powerful analytics.

The resulting prototypes become exciting “add-ons” to form part of enterprise-grade production systems for Vesuvio Labs Insurance partners. Analytics integrated into AI are a specialty of Vesuvio Labs, who also have the experience to deploy and maintain ML in a scalable and elastic cloud infrastructure. Advanced technology like this, creates platforms that allow rational data-based business decisions to be made.

Leif Ollivierre, Founder & CEO of Naxxar adds:

The UCL Internship program is an extremely beneficial program for all stakeholders involved. The interns are exposed to the latest in technology innovation with the ability to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world cases. It was an absolute delight having six interns on board with Naxxar — Shipping Insurance tech. They were split into teams and worked on a variety of options for creating an advance shipping container scanning module using AI. The teams were able to demo their progress every week and a final demo at the end of the program. I am truly inspired by the depth of knowledge and insight that the interns displayed and their ability to find a vast array of technological solutions to the same problem. We are definitely looking forward to the next summer internship program. All aboard shipping and insurance 4.0.

Scott Richardson, Head of Advanced Technologies @ Vesuvio Labs 2019

Further valuable experience for students writing their dissertations, is data exploration. By observing and examining the data distribution and its historical pattern, Business Intelligence information can be gathered and refined. For example:

  • Information about consumers’ payment-cycles and history. This helps predict cash flows, produces robust financial forecasts, and defines reliable demographic and segment characteristics.
  • As the volume of data passing through the process increases, business intelligence is refined. More advanced ML techniques are applied producing even more accurate forecasts.
  • Algorithm and feature selection workflow, combined with a hyperparameter tuning pipeline, allow for tailor prediction models to specific time-series probabilities and to foresee specific future events and activities more accurately.
  • The observation and recognition of normal consumer habits helps identify anomalies and changed patterns, perhaps driving greater responsiveness in the business model, or highlighting potentially fraudulent behaviors. As the world moves towards a more digital environment, pattern and exception recognition becomes increasingly valuable to business.
Alan Abdullah Gulle, Project Manager and Lead Data Scientist @ Vesuvio Labs 2019

UCL Computer Science and Vesuvio Labs look forward to building on this successful partnership and offering high-quality industrial experience to MSc Computational Finance students in years to come.

Kristian Feldborg, Founder and CEO of Vesuvio Labs adds: “we are delighted to work with these exceptionally talented postgraduate students from a globally renowned and highly respected university. And for a record third consecutive year. We believe that this collaboration with UCL is making a real difference to the application of AI and ML in today’s challenging and changing world of insurance”.

Encouraging collaboration between academia and industry fosters a symbiotic relationship: Businesses benefit from tapping into academic IP research and accessing talent pools, while Academia stays informed about the latest industry trends.

UCL Main Campus, Kings Cross, London

UCL is a diverse community with the freedom to challenge and think differently. Our community of more than 41,500 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff pursues academic excellence, breaks boundaries and makes a positive impact on real world problems.

UCL is consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the world and are one of only a handful of institutions rated as having the strongest academic reputation and the broadest research impact. We have a progressive and integrated approach to our teaching and research — championing innovation, creativity and cross-disciplinary working. We teach our students how to think, not what to think, and see them as partners, collaborators and contributors. For almost 200 years, we are proud to have opened higher education to students from a wide range of backgrounds and to change the way we create and share knowledge.

We were the first in England to welcome women to university education and that courageous attitude and disruptive spirit is still alive today. We are UCL.

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Vesuvio Labs is a Venture builder based in London helping entrepreneurs by accelerating the process of turning ideas into a scalable business.

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We would like to thank adviser Graham Ripley for his important contribution to this article.




Venture Builder, technology governance, DevOps and delivery for the Financial sector, led by @k_feldborg . Curated by Pedro Caetano.