Professor Robert J Newport Bob's research was focused on understanding the atomic-scale structure of novel amorphous (non-crystalline) materials of contemporary interest such as non-linear optical glasses and "sol gel" glasses which may be catalytically or biologically active. The structure of a given material is arguably the key factor in determining its macroscopic properties: the ethos of his work derives from his central interest in explaining why novel amorphous materials behave in the way they do: in other words to provide the research that will underpin a full understanding of their attributes. His firm belief is that complex materials or systems can rarely, if ever, be fully understood at the atomic/molecular or mesoscopic level if only a single experimental technique is used. He therefore sought to adopt, and to develop, a research methodology which embraces a wide range of traditionally disparate structural probes in an attempt to provide a more complete, and hence robust and widely applicable, picture. These include the use of a number of x-ray and neutron scattering techniques, together with computer simulation and modelling and many other complementary methods such as IR and Raman spectroscopy, ... . His team's work has been truly interdisciplinary, involving experimental and theoretical work in, and links with chemistry, engineering, materials science and bio/medical-engineering.