Alan gained the Dip For (Cres.) on graduation from the VSF in 1948. He was then awarded the BSc For (Melb) in 1953, and the MF (Calif) in 1959.
He worked in six Victorian forest districts from 1949, including Maryborough where he was the District Forester, and became a visiting lecturer at the VSF from 1954 to 1958. He was a senior lecturer at the VSF from 1960 to 1966, and the VSF Principal from 1969 to 1978.
He did a tour of duty in central divisions of the FCV in 1967 and 1968, and was then Chief Forest Education Officer and Policy Coordinator for the FCV, and forestry adviser to the Board of Inquiry into the Timber Industry during the period 1984 to 1985.
From 1986 to 1989 he was executive assistant to the Director, Lands and Forests Division, CFL, and then research officer for the Victorian Timber Industry Training Board from 1990 to 1993.
He became a Fellow of the Institute of Foresters of Australia (IFA) in 1983, was a member of the IFA executive from 1975 to 1989 and book reviews editor and a member of the editorial committee of Australian Forestry from 1978 to 1989.
From 1981 to 1985 he was Chairman of the Australian Branch of the Institute of Wood Science.