Bob’s principal field of research is the application of neutron scattering, muon spin relaxation, and x-ray synchrotron techniques to the study of magnetic and superconducting properties of alloys and compounds, although he also uses similar techniques in the study of materials of biological, chemical, engineering, palaeontological and archaeological importance. He also is actively involved in the development of new particle accelerator technology for cancer therapy and for the generation of safe nuclear energy. Bob shares a current EPSRC and EU research grant portfolio of over £12M.
Bob has played a significant role in international science programmes: he has been Chairman of the European Neutron Scattering Association (ENSA), and President of the International Society for Muon Spectroscopy (ISMS-Europe, Russia and Africa), a position to which he has recently been re-elected. He acts as a scientific advisor to a number of national and international science facilities and institutions, including the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France, and TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada. He has also been a key figure in establishing and promoting the scientific and technical cases for the ongoing £1bn European Spallation Source (ESS) project. He is a board member of the British Accelerator Science and Radiation Oncology Consortium (BASROC) and a founder member of the Thorium Energy Amplifier Association (THOREA). He has been a member of the selection committee for three international science prizes (ie the Yamazaki, Kurti and Haelg prizes).