Robert Cooke is currently a lecturer at Barking College in the School of the Built Environment teaching construction students from GCSE through to BTEC/Edexcel Higher National Certificate. He has over 35 years experience in the construction industry, starting off as an apprenticed shopfitter/carpenter/joiner both on the bench and as a site fixer, and later becoming a setter out in the drawing office. To gain wider experience he became a site carpenter for a local builder in the days when virtually everything was done by hand. Making a career change he trained as a surveyor and technical representative for a timber preservative and damp-proofing company and then spent many years as a technical and architectural representative for an international glass and glazing company, working mainly in the commercial sector. For almost a decade before teaching full time he changed direction to become a technical and architectural representative for a national Aircrete manufacturer. He has plenty of experience attending site, working on design details with architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and contractors. After spending many years teaching part time at the College of Technology at Southend-on-Sea, he took up a full time lecturing post at Barking College in the late 1980s. He has a particular interest in environmental and sustainable development issues. Building is not just a career for him it is an obsession according to his wife, Ann. Even when on holiday he is always going off to look at the local building sites.