Robert Knutsen joined UCT staff in 1988 and became the founding director of the Centre for Materials Engineering in 2000 which he led until the end of 2021. During this time he was also the head of the Mechanical Engineering Department from 2013 until 2018. Although still an active member of the Centre for Materials Engineering, he was appointed as the Director of the Electron Microscope Unit in January 2020. His research interests lie in the microstructure-property relationships of metallic materials with current interests particularly directed at titanium alloys and power plant steels. In addition to microstructure manipulation and mechanical property assessment, advanced materials characterisation is critical in these studies and Robert continues to make extensive use of SEM-Based electron backscattered diffraction, a technique that he introduced to South Africa as far back as 1994.