Rob Smith graduated with a BA (Hons) in Physics and Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University in 1986. He then went to Cornell University in the USA and obtained his PhD in 1993 on the interplay of localization and interaction in mesoscopic rings and disordered superconductors. After a postdoctoral stint at Ohio State University (1992-1994) he came to the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, first as a postdoc (1994-1997) and then as a member of permanent academic staff (1997-).
His main research work concerns the transport properties of low-dimensional disordered metals and superconductors at low temperatures. He has also worked on Bose-Einstein condensation and superfluidity, and most recently on exactly soluble quantum mechanics (also known as supersymmetric quantum mechanics).
Since 2007 he has been Director of Learning and Teaching in the School of Physics and Astronomy, with responsibility for organising undergraduate teaching within the School.