Allan has worked at Oxford Brookes since 1987. His first degree in civil engineering formed part of a 5-year sandwich degree course that was followed by a PhD in adhesive bonding technology.
Allan established the Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre (SVEC) in 2008 with an investment from the university. Its purpose is to address current and future challenges facing the global automotive industry and assess the very essence of personal mobility. Allan is the author of around 120 publications in the fields of adhesives, composites, sealants and materials technology, including authorship / co-authorship of six books, book chapters and industry guides. He has been the investigator/co-investigator for about £10m of research and consultancy at Oxford Brookes.