Alan Watson obtained his PhD from Imperial College in 1989, on measurement of electro-weak effects in charm production at PETRA. He joined the University of Birmingham as a researcher on the OPAL experiment, where he was responsible for the readout of the endcap muon detectors and studied electroweak and heavy flavour physics. He became a member of the permanent academic staff of the university in 1994.
Between 1998 and 2008 he worked on the BaBar experiment at SLAC, studying decays of B mesons to 3-body charmless states.
In 1991 he started working on preparation for the Large Hadron Collider, joining the Eagle proto-collaboration, which later merged with another team to become ATLAS. His main work has been on the design of the first level calorimeter trigger for ATLAS (L1Calo), particularly algorithm design and physics functionality, and is the offline and performance coordinator for L1Calo. He currently working on trigger optimisation, trigger upgrade design and top/heavy flavour physics at the LHC. He is L1Calo project leader within the UK, and will take over as Birmingham ATLAS group leader in summer 2011.