Robert was born in the West Country and educated in Yorkshire, graduating with a B.Sc. in Chemistry.
He entered the NHS as a Clinical Biochemist in University College Hospital, London and obtained an M.Sc. in General Biochemistry, before moving to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow to continue his training. He undertook short term locum posts in the Netherlands and Kuwait and finally moved to the Biochemistry Department of Inverclyde Royal Hospital in 1979.
He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and, as a Consultant Clinical Scientist, he had both clinical and management duties, involved in the diagnosis and monitoring of a variety of medical conditions. He was responsible for the scientific development of the department, the procurement of major equipment and the development of clinical biochemistry services, both within the hospital and the wider community.
Finally, he became Clinical Lead for Biochemistry in Argyll and Clyde Health Board and then for Clyde within Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board, being involved in the major re-equipping of laboratories and in laboratory computer design, linking with the hospitals and the wider community.
During his time in Inverclyde he was involved in the trade union affairs of the Association of Clinical Biochemists and became the Scottish Representative for six years.
He retired in January 2010 and has since spent most of his time involved with Rotary International and his hobby of sailing.