Professor Peter Robery BSc, PhD, FREng, CEng, FICE, FCS, MIAM

Professor Peter Robery

Department of Civil Engineering
RAEng visiting Professor in Forensic Engineering

Contact details

Civil Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Peter’s mission is to strengthen the university’s materials teaching and experience in the forensic examination of engineering failures.

Over Peter’s career he has worked for design, testing and contractor firms, rising to business unit head and director. He has published nearly 100 papers, articles and book chapters on concrete investigation, testing and repair over his career. He currently serves on the ICE Structures Exert Panel and is chairman elect on BSI committee B517/8 on concrete repair.

Peter is a past president of the Concrete Society and a concrete materials enthusiast. His experience includes concrete specification, production and quality assessment as well as the methods to rectify defects in new concrete structures and managing the ageing of existing deteriorating structures.

He has been teaching as a visiting lecturer at the School for several years and chairs the School Industrial Board, comprising Midlands-based client, consultant and contractor representatives, themselves mostly former Birmingham graduates, which advises the Head of School about the teaching needs and strategy as perceived by industry.


• FREng - Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2012),
• FICE – Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (2012),
• FCS – Fellow of the Concrete Society (2011),
• MIAM - Member of the Institute of Asset Management (2010)
• PhD – Aggregate for concrete made from domestic incinerator ash, University of Leeds (1981)
• BSc (Hons), Civil Engineering, University of Leeds (1977)


Peter brings over 33 years of experience in the field of concrete construction technology, inspection, testing, maintenance and repair. He is a Chartered Engineer recognised at the highest level by the Engineering Institutions and currently founder-director of Robery Forensic Engineering Limited. He was appointed visiting Professor in Forensic Engineering at the School of Civil Engineering in March 2015.

Peter is an accredited expert in failure investigation & forensic engineering, regularly serving as an expert witness on concrete and construction issues, and experienced in Technology and Construction Court, Arbitration, Mediation, Adjudication & Public Inquiry.

Over his career, Peter has worked in most construction sectors, including contractors, testing organisations and consulting engineers, with experience in a variety of responsible posts, including Companies House directorships.

Starting his career with a PhD taught him the advantages to be gained from working closely with Universities and other research organisations such as BRE & TRL. He then joined for Taylor Woodrow in 1982, before joining testing and investigation specialist Harry Stanger in 2000. He them moved to Guy Maunsell & Partners in 2005 (which became AECOM) and then to Halcrow in 2004, which is now CH2M HILL.

In CH2M HILL, Peter reached the role of Technology Fellow for Concrete Technology – the highest qualified concrete expert. Peter has always sought ways to promote University relations for mutual benefit, in feeding back to students current industry practice through teaching on MSc and MEng courses, identifying joint research opportunities and providing topics for MSc dissertations. He has also been external supervisor on three concrete-based PhD projects (U. Dundee, U. Glamorgan & U. Central Lancashire), an EngD examiner for a project on concrete repair systems, and an EngD supervisor for a project on offsite construction in civil engineering. He also provides strategic advice to the School’s industrial board.

Peter’s interest in concrete as a material started early in his career and it was Professor Adam Neville, then Head of the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Leeds that caught his imagination. Since then, he has made it his mission to further industry’s understanding of concrete durability, deterioration, inspection and repair and has undertaken a wide range of development and research projects in his career in industry.

Significant projects he worked on include:

• Buncefield investigation into the performance of bunds
• Singapore Mass Rapid Transit rail system
• Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai
• White Square Office complex, Moscow
• London Gateway Port
• Midland Links motorway viaducts
• Lusail sewage treatment works, Qatar

Now, much of his project work being for the legal sector as an expert witness, this allows him to bring his knowledge of concrete design, technology and performance to assist clients, solicitors and counsel with their cases.


Teaching Programmes
• MSc in Advanced Structures and Design
• MEng in Civil Engineering, year 4, Module: Structural Engineering III


Robery, P.C. & Tarada, F. (2014), “Containment for petroleum products – lessons learnt from Buncefield, UK”, Proceedings of ICE - Civil Engineering, Volume 167, Issue 4, pages 167 –175

Robery, P.C. (2014), “Role of asset management in monitoring durability changes to minimise safety risks to Infrastructure”, Proc. 3rd international Conference of Service Life Design for Infrastructure, Zuhai, China.

Robery, P.C. & Segers, P.M., (2014), “Interpreting field data for adhesion strength of bonded overlays”, Proc Structural Faults and Repair ‘14, Imperial College, London

Robery, P.C., Vernikos, V. et al (2014), “Building information modelling and its effect on off-site construction in UK civil engineering”, ICE Journal

Robery, P.C., Hughes, P.M. et al (2013), “Microbial degradation of synthetic fibre-reinforced marine concrete”, Journal of International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation,

Robery, P.C. (2012), “Carrying out inspection work and planned maintenance – UK Practice”, 2nd IQPC Bridges Conference, Riyadh, Kingdom or Saudi Arabia

Robery, P.C., Vernikos, V. et al (2011), “Offsite Innovation in UK infrastructure: The role of the approvals process in Box-Jacking projects”, ARCOM Conference, 5 September 2011

Robery, P.C. (2011) “European Standards for Concrete Repair”, Chapter 11 in the book “Concrete Repair”, ed M Grantham, Taylor & Francis.

Robery, P.C. (2010) “Effective management of concrete assets - Concrete durability: achievement and enhancement”, 5th IABMAS Conference, Philadelphia, USA

Robery, P.C. & Ardrey, A. (2010), “Can Nanotechnology Address Today’s Civil Engineering Challenges?”, SEI 2010 Structures Congress, Orlando, Florida, USA

Robery, P.C. (2009) “Chapter 16, Repair and Rehabilitation of Concrete”, ICE Manual of Construction Materials, section 2, Thomas Telford, London

Robery, P.C. (2008), “Keynote Paper: Effective Management of Concrete Assets”, Intl. Conf. Concrete: Construction's Sustainable Option, Dundee, Scotland

Robery, P.C. (2007), “Managing bridges and other highway assets: looking at the impact of whole of government accounts”, Assets Journal

Robery, P.C. (2006), “Keynote Paper: Non-destructive testing (including tests for structural strength)”, Proc 8th Int’l Conference on Concrete in Hot and Aggressive Environments, Kingdom of Bahrain

Robery, P.C. (2006), “Applying whole life principles to deteriorating concrete assets”, Keynote Paper at Concrete Solutions – 2nd International Conference on Concrete Repair, St-Malo, Brittany

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