Robert Maier graduated Dipl.Ing.FH in 1980 in Feinwerktechnik. After a year as researcher at a clinic for nuclear medicine he joined the MPI for Quantum Optics as experimental officer. Here he developed his interest into laser technology, mass spectrometry and experimental instrumentation. In 1985 he joined Technolas Lasertechnik as R&D manager, developing excimer lasers for medical applications in ophthalmology). In 1987 he joined FORTH, the leading research institution in Crete to assist in building up their infrastructure and research facilities and to carry out research into LIBS of metal ores. He then moved on to Edinburgh University, Chemistry in 1988. where he continued research begun at FORTH. His main interests focused on laser based material analysis, photo electron spectroscopy, time of flight mass spectrometry, but in particular he worked on MALDI, molecular beam instrumentation and optical spectroscopy. 1998 he joined the Physics department at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh where he is currently a Research Fellow working on fibre optic sensor technology in engineering applications and high power laser applications . In 2006 he was awarded a PhD in Physics on application of fibre Bragg gratings in sensor technology.
His research focuses on optical sensor technology for physical measurements, the application of FBGs in sensor systems and the use of absolute interferometric distance sensing for engineering applications. Environmental sensing, especially fibre optic based hydrogen sensing, is another corner stone of his activities. More recently he also restarted research in high power laser applications for precision machining and engineering applications.
During Summer semester 2012 he was invited to the Munich University for Applied Sciences [MUAS] as a visiting Professor on a Fellowship, At MUAS he taught a course on Optoelectronic Instrumentation and collaborates with Johannes Roths on high temperature compatible fibre Bragg gratings. He is also a Fellow of MUAS.