A native of Belfast, Professor Robertson originally studied Chemistry and Economics at the University of Ulster, where he also obtained his D.Phil and D.Sc. On completing this Professor Robertson joined the Faraday Centre a spinout company from Carlow Institute of Technology in Ireland. In March 1991 he moved to the Industrial Research and Technology Unit, part of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
Professor Robertson joined the staff of the School of Applied Sciences at Robert Gordon University in September 1995 where he was involved in teaching and research in environmental science and technology, analytical science and photocatalysis. In July 2000 Professor Robertson was appointed to the Chair of Energy and Environmental Engineering in the School of Mechanical and Offshore Engineering at RGU where he established the multidisciplinary Centre for Research in Energy and the Environment. Professor Robertson subsequently was appointed as Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) at Robert Gordon University in September 2006. In this role he had responsible for setting and implementing the Research, Knowledge Transfer and Commercialisation Strategy for the University. In August 2012 his role at RGU was redefined as Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Academic Support Services). In January 2015 Professor Robertson joined the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast as Professor of Chemical Engineering and took up the post of Head of School in March 2016. His main research interests are in developing photocatalytic reactor technology for energy and environmental applications.