Ray Robertson is a native of Missouri. He received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Central Missouri State College in 1962. He worked for Petrolite Corporation in Webster Groves, Missouri in the demulsification organic synthesis group until going to Colorado State University in 1969. He received a Master of Science in Chemistry in 1971. He then entered the University of Wyoming and earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1976. During the last year of graduate school he also taught chemistry at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyoming where he met his wife-to-be, Bonnie Jean Blue. In 1976 he joined the Laramie Energy Research Center which soon became the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE). During this time he conducted research on the chemistry of asphalt as well as on oil shale and tar sand. In 1983 the Laramie DOE laboratory was “defederalized” to become Western Research Institute (WRI) which is an independent, not-for-profit research laboratory. Research on asphalt, shale oil and tar sand continued until 1987 when he became the WRI Program Manager for the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) Project A002A. At the retirement of Dr. J. Claine Petersen in 1990, Ray Robertson became the Principal Investigator for the remainder of the SHRP project and for succeeding FHWA projects. He was also the P.I. for numerous private contracts. He was appointed Vice President of WRI’s Transportation Technology unit which conducts research in asphalt chemistry and rheology, fuel processing and innovative technology.
Ray Robertson is a 49 year member of the American Chemical Society. He served 12 years on the TRB Committee A2D01 (later AFK20)—6 years as Chair of the Subcommittee on asphalt chemistry. He has approximately 80 publications and numerous private contract reports. Ray retired from WRI in May 2009 and has been busier than ever since then. He continues to enjoy big game hunting, fly fishing and model railroading, and most of all, very much enjoys his grandchildren.