Robert Huggins obtained a BA in physics from Amherst College, and an MS and ScD in metallurgy from MIT. He has been on the Stanford University faculty since 1954, becoming full professor in 1962. He initiated the Department of Materials Science in 1959 and founded Stanford’s Center for Materials Research in 1961, where he served as director until 1977. He held an NSF Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship in 1965-66 with Carl Wagner in Göttingen, Germany.
Huggins is the author or co-author of over 400 publications and 13 patents. He was editor of the 23 volume book series Annual Review of Materials Science, two books on solid state ionics topics, and two journals, Solid State Ionics, and Materials Research Bulletin. Huggins was one of the founders of the Materials Research Society. From 1991 to 1995 he was chief scientist of the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Ulm, Germany. He was named Honorary Professor at both the University of Ulm (1994) and the University of Kiel (2000) in Germany. He returned to Stanford in 2005.