Alan began as a physicist. However, he developed an interest in computing early on through signal processing for gamma ray burst detectors, and so switched to engineering after his BSc. His post graduate research at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), University of Southampton, was in adaptive filtering, and novel methods of recovering corrupted signals. Alan also worked on novel methods of noise cancellation, both passive and active.
After leaving the ISVR Alan worked for the UK government for many years and subsequently provided advice for some years. He has particular expertise in, and continues to conduct research into, cyber security, covert communications, forensic computing and image/signal processing. Alan has been involved in some of the most significant advances in computer technology which have seen him elected as a Fellow and chartered member of the British Computer Society, Institute of Physics and the Royal Statistical Society.
In addition to his academic and government work, Alan has run businesses focussed on various aspects of Information Technology (IT). In 2000 Alan was pivotal in the flotation of Charteris plc on the London Stock Exchange. He remained a director until 2008 at which point he began to focus back on his academic interests. Alan continues to be a director on businesses involved in IT.
Although Alan has been at the leading edge of technology development for many years, he is primarily a particularly good communicator. He is known for his ability to communicate complex ideas in a simple, yet passionate manner. He not only publishes in the academic and trade journals but has articles in the national press and comments on TV and radio. Despite the length of his experience, his hands-on ability with emerging technologies contributes significantly to the respect he is repeatedly shown when he leads teams where technology is involved.