University of Central London, UK
Dr Robin Gibbons
Robin started his somewhat chequered career with an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design. However, after 6 months of inactivity and the calling of the sea, Robin joined the Royal Navy. Although Robin was initially assigned to the Royal Navy’s Survey Branch, he later transferred to the regular Navy’s Warfare Branch sub-specialising as a Navy diver involving shipborne mine clearance and demolitions. Robin left the Royal Navy in the rank of Lieutenant to take up an appointment with the Sultan of Oman’s Navy (SON) based at Wudam Naval Base, Oman.
During his service with SON, a childhood dream became reality with a calling of the sky. A 30-minute flying lesson in the United Arab Emirates was all it took to book a professional pilot’s course based at Daytona Beach in Florida. Robin’s flying career spanned 10 years, culminating as a Senior First Officer with Virgin Atlantic. An argument with black ice and a ploughed field prematurely terminated his flying career.
Following a 6 month 'body overhaul' in Salisbury District Hospital, Robin began his 'new life' which eventually led to his research career. This began in May 2003 when he joined the UK FES rowing Group as a research subject. In September 2008, he started his doctorate to investigate the feasibility of FES rowing in tetraplegia. The 3 themes central to his work were equipment development, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal health. Robin’s future goals are to contribute to the field of spinal cord injury research, while helping to develop a whole-body FES rowing device. Robin hopes this device will help prepare people with spinal cord injury for cellular repair. The concept behind this website is to support these goals. Robin is currently affiliated with the Aspire CREATe Group, a department of University of Central London based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, North London.