AIG Establishes Risk Engineering and Analytics Center at Clemson University

The center’s mission will be to create a next-generation workforce skilled in risk engineering and systems analytics, develop innovative technology-based tools to mitigate risk exposure, and facilitate the use of big data for critical decision making.

(Bowman Field, Clemson University. Photo credit: Clemson University.) 

AIG (New York) has committed an initial $4 million investment with Clemson University to develop a risk engineering and analytics center on the University’s campus in Clemson, S.C., and to establish the Robert Benmosche Endowed Professorship in Risk Engineering and Systems Analytics, in honor of the company’s former president and chief executive officer. Benmosche, the former CEO of both MetLife and AIG passed away on Feb. 25, 2015.

The late Bob Benmosche, best known for his leadership at AIG, where he led a turnaround, improved profits 60 percent year over year, and paid down government aid pledged by the Bush and Obama Administrations.

The late Bob Benmosche, best known for his leadership at AIG, where he led a turnaround, improved profits 60 percent year over year, and paid down government aid pledged by the Bush and Obama Administrations.

AIG reports that the new center will expand the carrier’s engineering capabilities, complementing its three-year investment in hiring 500 risk engineers and building an engineering and analytics center of excellence in Bangalore, India. The center will draw on AIG’s data and risk expertise as well as what an AIG statement characterizes as Clemson’s vast engineering and research capabilities. The center’s mission will be to create a next-generation workforce skilled in risk engineering and systems analytics, develop innovative technology-based tools to mitigate risk exposure, and facilitate the use of big data for critical decision-making.

The Robert Benmosche Endowed Professorship will develop curriculum and educational programs in the field of risk engineering and analytics, cultivate scientific investigation and research, recruit world-class faculty, and create marketable technologies that advance the field.

Critical Part of AIG’s Strategy

“Our relationship with Clemson furthers the substantial investments AIG is making in technology, data insights, and engineering to partner with our clients in new ways,” comments John Doyle, CEO, Commercial Insurance, AIG. “It’s a critical part of AIG’s strategy to serve as a valued advisor to clients who are managing increasingly complex risks. The endowed professorship honors Bob Benmosche, who recognized early the tremendous value AIG can offer clients through engineering and analytics.”

John Doyle, CEO, Commercial Insurance, AIG.

John Doyle, CEO, Commercial Insurance, AIG.

AIG reports that the key areas of research for the center will include:

  • Improving cybersecurity to make systems less vulnerable to natural and manmade disasters
  • Catastrophe modeling
  • Supply chain and logistics risk
  • Loss modeling and tool development
  • Dynamic pricing models for emerging countries
  • Predictive risk modeling
  • A coastal resilience initiative focused on risks from hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters
  • Enhanced capacity to analyze unstructured data to benchmark frequent loss events and causes

Clemson will provide loss-prevention training with real-world and virtual reality-based exercises, according to AIG. The center will train analysts to join members of AIG’s loss-prevention team, with a special emphasis on understanding risks and how best to prevent and mitigate them.

Clemson will also develop online curricula will be created offering graduate certificates in risk engineering, systems analytics, catastrophe modeling, and enterprise risk management. Courses will include decision-making under uncertainty, performance assessment of deteriorating systems, and post-disaster response and recovery. The certificates can be combined to meet requirements for a master’s degree currently under development.

Research To Save Lives and Property

James P. Clements, President, Clemson University.

James P. Clements, President, Clemson University.

“We are pleased to team with AIG,” comments Clemson President James P. Clements. “We have the opportunity to play a leadership role in research and education that can save lives and property. This important work will directly benefit multiple stakeholders, including Clemson’s students and faculty and AIG’s clients.”

Dr. James Martin, the center’s director and chair of Clemson’s Glenn Department of Civil Engineering, said that AIG will benefit from the school’s intellectual capital, highly-regarded faculty, and top-ranked supercomputing power of its renowned Palmetto Cluster computer.

“In our role as global game-changers, the College of Engineering and Science is on a continuous mission to partner with the world’s top institutions,” Martin adds. “That is why we are excited to launch this bold, innovative, and dynamic partnership with AIG. We believe it is just the start of an enterprise that will not only provide new opportunities for AIG and Clemson, but will also transform the field of risk engineering, and analysis.”

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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