Robert McMeeking completed his PhD at Brown University in 1976, and was a postdoctoral associate at Stanford University for 2 years. In 1978 he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. He moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1985, where he is currently Tony Evans Distinguished Professor of Structural Materials and Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He has published over 300 papers on topics in theoretical and applied mechanics, and was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Mechanics from 2002 to 2012. He is a member of US National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2014 was awarded the Society of Engineering Science William Prager Medal and the ASME Timoshenko Medal. He has an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and in 2023 he was awarded the Platinum Medal of the UK Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.