On leaving Secondary education Robert started as a Technical Apprentice at Devonport Royal Naval Dockyard – Plymouth.
The apprenticeship was tailored to give a basic knowledge of marine based engineering skills followed by drawing office and managerial training.
In 1974 he joined British and Commonwealth shipping company sailing aboard Bulk carriers, Reefers, General Cargo and Passenger vessels.
In 1978 he joined Jebsens UK as Second Engineer and then Chief Engineer aboard bulk carriers of various sizes.
Moving ashore in 1985 as Engineer Superintendent he has since joined Unicom as technical Manager in 1992 and is now First Deputy Managing Director responsible for Newbuilding Projects and technical evaluation of the fleet.