Sir Robert Clayton graduated from Cambridge University in 1937 and joined the scientific staff at the General Electric Company's (G-EC) Research Laboratories at Wembley.
He was asked to help in establishing the GEC's Applied Electronics Laboratories at Stanmore to create a defense electronics capability which centered on developing missile guidance systems for the Royal Navy.
In 1961 the various GEC laboratories and factories in the field were brought together, with Sir Robert serving as managing director. In 1968 he was formally recognized as technical director of the enlarged company, becoming a main board director in 1978 until his retirement in 1983.
He was an honorary Fellow and president of the IEE, a Fellow and president of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow and vice president of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He also wrote two books on the history of the GEC Research Laboratories.
Clayton died on June 20th, 1998.