After completing his studies in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (MEng) and applied mathematics (BSc Hons) in 1997, Robert worked in industry as a power electronics design engineer. The design of electrical machines was his next pursuit, and he completed a PhD at TU Delft in the Netherlands on this subject. His thesis project was not only an academic study, but very practical: a high-speed permanent-magnet synchronous machine (PMSM) was built from his design and mounted as part of a flywheel in a passenger bus in Eindhoven, where it was in active service for several years. Upon his return to South Africa, Robert worked in teaching and research at two universities: University of Johannesburg (UJ) and North-West University (NWU). While at NWU, he designed three more high-speed PMSMs for industrial and research applications. He was also involved with solar, wind and hydrogen energy systems.
Next, Robert ventured into the gold mining industry by working for Gold Fields Mining Innovations as electrical engineer, where he completed novel electromechanical and power electronics designs for mining robots. His experience in mining robotics then led him to the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), where he worked in field robotics software development. Since late 2014, Robert moved back into his previous field of electrical machine design via an internal transfer to the CSIR Landward Sciences competency area. Several high- and low-speed machines are being designed for military and civil applications (particularly the rail industry). His current activities include electrical machine design, power electronics, drives and power systems, control systems and PLC/SCADA applications.
Robert's previous career experience includes: software engineering, mathematical modeling, computer vision, robotics, sensors, systems engineering, transformers, switchgear, power systems and other high-power electrical engineering, embedded design, industrial power systems and renewable energy.