Robert J. Flatt became Professor of Physical Chemistry of Building Materials at Institute of Building Materials, ETH Zürich in September 2010.
Before that he was Principal Scientist Head of Inorganic Materials in Corporate Research at Sika Technology AG. This is the R&D branch of Sika AG, a Swiss based company internationally active in the areas of materials used for sealing, bonding, damping, reinforcing and protecting load-bearing structures in construction and industry. In Sika, Robert J. Flatt was responsible for the planning and execution of the long-term research agenda supporting development groups dedicated to construction materials. This involved numerous projects not only within the company, but also with external partners both academic and industrial.
Prior to joining Sika, Robert J. Flatt spent two and a half years as postdoctoral researcher at the Princeton University in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with the materials group of Prof. G.W. Scherer. There he worked on the fundamental aspects of crystal growth in porous media as well as on the development of particle-modified consolidants in projects supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Lafarge Central Research Laboratory and the Samuel Kress Foundation.
He studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), where he obtained his masters in Chemical Engineering (1994) and a PhD from the Materials Science Department (1999). In 1995 he worked in the Stone Conservation Laboratory (EPFL) on a project dealing with the in situ conservation of the Roman mosaics near the town of Orbe in Switzerland.