Robert was awarded the BSc in Physics (1st Class Honours) from Heriot Watt University (HWU) in 2000, the MSc in Optoelectronics and Laser Devices from the University of St Andrews in 2001 and the PhD in the Physics from HWU in 2006. He was awarded an STFC Advanced Fellowship in 2010 to investigate the applications of photonic technologies in astronomy and was simultaneously appointed to a Lectureship in Physics. He was promoted to Reader in 2013 and a Personal Chair in Physics in 2016.
As Principal Investigator, he has received ~£10M in funding since 2010 from sources including the EPSRC, STFC, EU, Royal Society, and industry. He is Principle Investigator of the £6.1m EPSRC Programme Grant “U-care” which seeks to develop deep UV light technologies in collaboration with the Universities of Edinburgh and Bath for “Transformative Healthcare Technologies for 2050”.
He is a Co-Investigator on the EPSRC-funded project “PROTEUS”, an EPSRC Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration that has secured > £13M in funding from EPSRC since 2013, and is aimed at developing photonic diagnostics for lung disease in critically ill patients. He holds an honorary position at the Queens Medical Research Institute (QMRI) at the University of Edinburgh.
He is a Co-Investigator on the £5.6M EPSRC-Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in laser-based production processes (CIM-laser), the aim of which is to drive advanced laser-based manufacturing techniques into industry. In addition to his academic activities, Robert co-founded Optoscribe Ltd in 2010, a laser-manufacturing company now occupying its own premises in Livingston, and permanently employing > 35 permanent staff.