PhD (Chemistry) , 1977
BA (Chemistry), 1969
Dr. Lockhart was a Charter Student at SFU, starting in 2nd year chemistry having completed Grade 13 in Haney (Maple Ridge) where he attended high school. On completion of his undergraduate degree, Robert worked as a production supervisor at Seagram’s Distillery (New Westminster) and then as a forest products researcher at MacMillan Bloedel Research. He returned to SFU in 1970 for graduate studies in organic chemistry.
In graduate school Robert was able to move directly to a Ph.D. program where he studied synthetic organic photochemistry under Dr. Joe Chow. To clarify some challenging results, the work, with the great help of Fred Einstein, included X-ray crystallography. While initially intent on achieving an academic position, for family reasons and a desire to remain in Vancouver, Robert declined an NRC Post Doctoral Fellowship and accepted a research position at the BC Research Council as research scientist and toxicologist. This work was highly successful in identifying the toxic components of pulp mill effluents discharged in the Gulf of Georgia (now Salish Sea).
Due to research funding issues, Robert accepted an employment at BC Hydro as an occupational hygienist in Hydro’s Corporate Safety Department. This was the beginning of a very enjoyable and productive career. In 1987, Robert left BC Hydro and established a consulting company to deliver occupational health and safety services. This was the first broad-spectrum consulting firm in BC offering a broad range of health and safety consulting services. Ten years later, the company was sold to BC Research Corp. where Robert became a minority shareholder. BC Research Corp. was a technology incubatory from which several spin-off companies emerged.
After several years at BC Research Corp., and several name changes, the company was sold to Cantest Ltd., a large, local commercial laboratory. At the same time, Robert purchased the consulting arm of BC Research. In 2007, with retirement in mind, and no family member interested in the business, LRM International Consulting Inc. was sold to Golder Associates Ltd., an international engineering firm. Robert joined Golder as a senior consultant and program director. He retired from Golder in January 2012.
Throughout his career Robert was able to remain in Vancouver, but pursued opportunities to travel to all parts of Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, South America and Asia. He was also able to satisfy another long-standing desire – to interact with others, to understand their needs, and to assist with the solution to their challenges. SFU was instrumental in firmly establishing this desire for travel and to interact with others.
Robert has long been a community volunteer. These undertakings have included participation and leadership in school consultative committees, work as a Boy Scout leader, as a parent advisor with the army cadets, and as a Director and Past-President of the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society. In 1984, Robert was the founder and first president of the BC-Yukon Chapter of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. In 2009, Dr. Lockhart was awarded the Elizabeth McDonald Award for contributions to the occupational health and safety community.
- Written by the Faculty of Science