A LEADING professor from Blackburn is set to be awarded a posthumous doctorate in recognition of nearly 30 years contribution to one of the country’s leading business schools.

Prof Bob Johnston, a father-of-three, lost a long battle with cancer at the age of 59.

Fellow academics specialising in operations management, which he taught at Warwick Business School, have paid tribute to the professor.

The author of more than 30 books, the university is set to make him a Doctor of Science, at its winter degree congregation in January.

Prof Mark Taylor, Dean of Warwick Business School, said: “This award is given not only in recognition of his outstanding scholarship but also for his sustained contribution to the University of Warwick and our school for over 27 years.

“He was one of the leading authorities in service operations management and his career and experience was rooted in both practice and academia.

“His passing is a great loss to the business school, to the university, and to the wider profession.

“But the legacy of his scholarly contributions lives on.”

Prof Johnston left his wife Shirley, and three children, Chris, Kate and Sam.

Away from academia he loved hill-walking, sailing and hockey and was a school governor and church treasurer.

The former Accrington Grammar School pupil studied systems analysis at Aston University, gaining a first-class honours degree, before securing a post-graduate certificate at Lancaster.

He initially worked as a teacher at Settle High School before he took up a management post at a youth activities organisation.

He returned to the academic life in 1980 to lecture in operations management at the current Sheffield Hallam University.

Prof Johnston joined Warwick University in 1985 and became academic director for the business school and a deputy dean at Warwick.