Alan joined Loughborough University in September 1991. He has a BSc (Hons) degree in Computing Science and Mathematics (1986) and a PhD in Computing Science/Operational Research (1991), both from the University of East Anglia. Alan is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked as a Systems Programmer in the computing headquarters of the Central Electricity Generating Board and was part of a team responsible for the maintenance, integrity and security of data relating to power stations and the other infrastructures to do with electricity supply. Whilst at Loughborough Alan has worked closely with industrial partners. Projects have included the development of a bespoke model to improve the accuracy of quotations for a manufacturing company. The model was subsequently developed for use on the factory floor to help reduce material wastage and to provide readily understood pictorial cutting instructions for machine operators. Another project involved working with a recent graduate to optimise staff numbers and staff scheduling at a local printing firm.
Alan’s research interests broadly lie in the area of management science/operational research; he has maintained an underlying stream of research into heuristics throughout his career at Loughborough and has recently broadened this work on heuristics into the political marketing and branding areas.
His work has been published in a range of academic journals, including: Journal of Marketing Management, Mathematical Algorithms, Journal of Heuristics, Marketing Theory, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Operational Research Society, and Computers and Operations Research.
Alan’s recent work has focused on the application of operational research in the area of branding to further develop techniques for brand mapping and is now being extended into related areas in retailing.