Robert E. Allison, Jr. was born November 27, 1964 in Norfolk, Virginia. He attended West Rowan High School in North Carolina, during which time he reached the rank of Eagle Scout , and was also selected to compete at the National 4-H Congress in Chicago, before graduating with honors in 1983.

During his undergraduate program at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Robert was inducted into the Gama Beta Phi Honor Society, and in December of 1987 received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He was then invited into the graduate program in the College of Textiles, where he researched Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) for Apparel, and received his Master of Science in December of 1989.

He then worked at Shell Oil's Westhollow Research Center in Houston, Texas, for 18 months before returning to the NCSU College of Textiles to start work on a doctoral program in Textile Technology Management.

During his graduate studies, Robert worked as a summer intern at SAS Institute in Cary, NC, and was offered a permanent position in their Unix Support group, which he accepted. Robert plans to continue working at SAS after graduation.

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