Alan Rushton graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in Economics, after which he spent several years in industry as Raw Materials Controller with the International Synthetic Rubber Company and as a distribution executive with Rio Tinto Zinc based in London.
He studied for an MSc in Transport Studies at Cranfield University and then joined the National Materials Handling Centre, initially to carry out research into urban delivery problems and goods consolidation. He was a senior consultant with the Centre for many years, undertaking a variety of consultancy projects, specializing in transport and logistics systems and strategies. After helping to create the Distribution Studies Unit (DSU) at Cranfield, he became the Director of Studies for the MSc in Distribution Technology and Management, and Head of the DSU.
With the creation of the Cranfield Centre for Logistics and Transportation (later the Cranfield Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, CLSCM) he became the Director of Graduate Programmes for the new Centre where he set up and, for many years, ran the Executive MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. He became the Director of eLearning for CLSCM and chaired the eLearning Committee for the Cranfield School of Management. As well as his research and consultancy experience in transport, distribution, logistics and the supply chain, he has lectured in Europe, the Far East, the Middle East, North America, South America and Africa. He has published widely and co-wrote the original and subsequent editions of The Handbook of Logistics and Distribution Management, which was first published in 1989. He is also co-author of International Logistics and Supply Chain Outsourcing. He has continued to undertake consultancy, both nationally and internationally, and is the Director of Dialog Consultants Ltd, a consultancy specializing in distribution, logistics and supply chain management. Alan is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.