From finance in London to shipping professor at NHH

Haiying Jia
Haiying Jia is professor at Department of Business and Management Science at NHH. After her PhD defense at Bayes, she worked fulltime at the UK based hedge fund. `We operated on the pulse of the world economy´, she says. Photo: Sigrid Folkestad
By Sigrid Folkestad

6 February 2023 11:12

From finance in London to shipping professor at NHH

Haiying Jia was recently appointed full professor at NHH. She is an expert on shipping and finance. During her PhD in UK, she worked as an investment analyst in London.

Haiying Jia is professor at the Department of Business and Management Science and affiliate researcher at Centre for Shipping and Logistics.

Her interest in international trade, shipping and finance started long before her career at NHH Norwegian School of Economics.

Equity analyst London

Crisis after crisis in shipping

«NHH Shipping Conference – LeaderShip» is coming up. Now, they announce the line-up of more than 15 top speakers from the business and academia.

`I hold a PhD in finance from Bayes Business School in London. While I was working on my doctoral thesis, I had a part time job as a quantitative equity analyst at a hedge fund in London. It was very nice to be able to combine business and academia, ´ Haiying Jia says.

In her thesis Professor Jia investigated the different market dynamics of metal futures market. After her PhD defense, she worked fulltime at the UK based hedge fund.

`When I think back, it was very exciting. We got to know so many industries and talked to so many different people. We operated on the pulse of the world economy. London is the center of finance not only in Europe, but globally. But at the same time, it is very demanding to work in finance, as you can imagine ´.  

Haiying Jia Ø thøgesen
Haiying Jia designed the new master course on Ship Finance and Marine Insurance at NHH. `I am very impressed by the young students at NHH. I feel teaching is really rewarding´. NHH rector Øystein Thøgersen is congratulating Professor Jia. Photo: Ingunn Gjærde

Entrepreneur in Bergen

`Did you consider going all-in on a career in finance after having finished your PhD? `

`Yes, I did. Working in finance in London is exciting, but balancing family and work in finance in London can be quite challenging. As a young mom with two children, I felt it was not the time to pursue a career in finance´.

Haiying Jia moved to Norway and Bergen. She became an entrepreneur. With her background at finance and research, she started her own company tracking commodity trade flows and shipping demand.

`Commodity trading has always been an underlying interest, both in theory and practice. But I felt that a lot of the research was not applicable. The industry couldn’t apply much of the findings and results´.

In 2011, both industry and academia could take into use a game changing technology. Satellites in low orbit were able to track all kinds of commercial vessels. Now researchers get excellent data on the maritime traffic, which is based on the AIS data.

Pia Christine Helland is Senior Vice President of Ocean Industries in DNB, and a business graduate from NHH. She and Harald Rokke (from Nordic Investment Bank, at right) are students at NHHE´s programme Sustainable Business Strategy. Photo: Helge Skodvin


Pia Christine Helland advises customers in shipping and ocean industries. She has now decided to go back to school to learn even more about sustainability.

Kind of a black box

`The way it worked before the AIS data was available, was kind of a black box. We didn’t know how vessels sailed, and the traffic flow. Now, AIS light up the open sea and we can calculate or estimate the vessels’ operational behavior and efficiency´.

Norway was one of the first to launch such dedicated satellite to track and monitor maritime traffic from space. Based on data from satellites, Jia can explore the seaborne trade flow.

`How many estimated barrels of oil are floating on the ocean and what direction do they go? Now we have the information for when they will reach the port etc. Fascinating, isn’t it?!, Jia says and adds:  

`Our team of researchers at NHH, who are pioneers within the field, study how the industry can operate wisely and more efficiently, how to reduce fuel consumption and increase energy efficiency´.

Ship finance and Insurance

Shipping companies can reduce waiting time by slowing down. Slowing down in the open sea reduces fuel consumption. This is the field Jia have been working on the last few years.

Dedichen and Solberg

Little Norway making big green waves?

How can we continue to use our unique knowledge of the ocean and technical expertise to make waves and drive changes on a global scale? This is one of the most important issues facing the Norwegian shipping industry.

Haiying Jia enjoys teaching. She designed the new master course on Ship Finance and Marine Insurance at NHH. The course offers a unique combination of corporate finance, project finance and insurance.

Meanwhile she is responsible for Maritime Economics for the bachelors and the course´s main objective is to give students a solid background on the economic aspects of maritime transportation, knowledge of the international shipping industry and challenges in the business.

`I am very impressed by the young students at NHH. I feel teaching is really rewarding´.