Meet Robert Learney, PhD -
Robert Learney, PhD

Robert Learney, PhD

Lead Technologist - Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology Digital Catapult


Dr. Robert Learney is a qualified medical doctor with a life-long interest in biotechnology and entrepreneurship. He is the recipient of the 2012 James Dyson Fellowship at Imperial College London for a project of his own design to improve the extracorporeal preservation of kidneys destined for transplantation.

Prior to this, he completed an MSc (with distinction) in Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College, and spent 9 months with a group of MBA students from Imperial Business School exploring the commercial potential of my MSc project for a sensor to monitor chemicals dissolved in urine.

He has 12 years of experience of clinical medicine - 6 in full-time work as a surgical trainee, and 6 in various locum positions during my later years in research. During his PhD, he co-founded the internationally-recognized Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering (IC3RE), alongside Prof. William Knottenbelt, to explore the emerging phenomenon of blockchain technology. He co-supervised a broad range of MSc and Undergraduate projects looking at supply chains, protecting critical infrastructure, identity management, and enabling novel economies for film and music development.

He also represented the Centre at meetings in EU Parliament, and in discussions with HM Treasury, the Centre for Business Innovation and Skills, and the Bank of England. As his passion for this field grew, he took the opportunity to join Digital Catapult as their Lead Technologist in Blockchain/DLT. His role now involves exploring ways of leveraging DLT for the benefit of the entire UK economy, bringing him into contact with some of the most exciting companies he has ever had the pleasure of meeting.

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