Zhen Zhu

Senior Lecturer in Big Data Analytics,
Director of Studies for MSc Business Analytics
 Zhen Zhu


Zhen Zhu is a Senior Lecturer in Big Data Analytics and the Director of Studies for MSc Business Analytics at Kent Business School. He obtained a PhD in Economics from the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas in the United States in 2013.

Prior to joining Kent Business School, Zhen worked at the Networks and Urban Systems Centre, the Centre for Business Network Analysis and the Department of Economics and International Business at the University of Greenwich. Previously he also held fellowships at the Stockholm China Economic Research Institute at the Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden and at the IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca in Italy. 

Zhen is currently serving as an Editorial Board Member for Health Science Reports. He has been a Lead Guest Editor for Information Processing & Management and Frontiers in Psychology. 

Research interests

Zhen’s research fields are data science, network science and business analytics. He is interested in developing analytical and practical tools for understanding social and economic networks. He has been working closely with industry partners through collaborative projects and consulting and training services related to data analytics. 

His current research projects include:

  • Social Media and Text Analytics, where data science and natural language processing methods are applied to data from social media and web platforms such as Twitter and Weibo to uncover patterns with business, social, and health implications. 
  • Global Production and Innovation Networks, where network science metrics and techniques such as centrality measures and community detection are applied to international trade, input-output, and innovation data to gain insights into the global production and innovation systems.    


Zhen has developed and taught modules in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and has offered training workshops to professionals on the topics of Big Data, Business Analytics, Machine Learning and Network Science.


Zhen is looking forward to supervising motivated individuals who are excited by challenges and opportunities around the theme of big data analytics. Below are some example topics:

  • Real-time big data analytics and cloud computing.
  • Predictive analytics applications in specific areas such as economics, marketing, finance, law and healthcare. 
  • Metrics, visualisation and storytelling with network data.

Current Supervisees:

  • Zsofia Zador: The International Organisation of Production and Its Impact on UK Regions: A Network Analysis 
  • Rezwana Barsha: Sustainable Luxury or Luxurious Sustainability: Identifying the Juxtaposition of Luxury and Sustainability Through Consumers Perspective 

Past Supervisees:

  • Yuan Gao: Network Analysis of International Patent Data: Technology Cohort, Temporal Dynamics and the Role of Trade 
  • Xu Wang: Essays on Inter-firm Ownership Network and Social Media Marketing


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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