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YOU ARE HERE: Home About Us Company Profile Robert T. Yorke

Robert T. Yorke

Dr. ROBERT T. YORKE D. Eng. (Hon.), CEng. FIStructE, FICE, FAPE was born in 1933 in Tobago where he received his primary and secondary education. He was the second of eight siblings.  
After leaving school he took an apprenticeship in Tobago before moving to Trinidad to work at the Longdenville brick factory where his cousin was the general foreman.
In 1956 he left for England to pursue his studies in Engineering at the Hammersmith College (part of the University of London). After graduating he continued his professional training in the United Kingdom and worked for several British engineering consultancies including Mott Hay & Anderson and Andrews, Kent & Stone.
In 1967 he left the United Kingdom to assume the post of Design Engineer at the Ministry of Works in Antigua and returned to Trinidad and Tobago in 1968 to accept the position of Chief Engineer at Sanders and Foster (Caribbean) Ltd.  After three (3) months he was promoted to Technical Director and subsequently assumed full responsibility for the company’s operations. Five years later in 1972, when Sanders and Foster pulled out of the Caribbean, Bob started Yorke Structures Ltd with just ten employees.
When asked to articulate the vision for the new company, he is clear in his original beliefs which remain as strong today. An exceptional believer in the power of positive thinking he will say that he knew that he could not fail at the new business as he was better than his rivals. He could clearly see his goals right from the beginning and knew that with the vision clearly in place, if he was prepared to make sacrifices to achieve those goals then nothing was impossible.

This philosophy has underpinned the development of Yorke Structures Limited as a business and remains a key part of the culture of the company today. Bob Yorke will tell you that Yorke Structures Limited is the best of its kind around. He will tell you that the company has no competitors, as to have competitors is to acknowledge that other people are equally as good as you. Yorke Structures Limited begins with the notion that it is better than the other companies.
The results of thirty nine years in business bear impressive testimony to both Dr Yorke’s personal philosophy and the exceptional abilities of the company he founded and has steered through both boom years and more difficult times. Within the company there is great fondness and respect for Bob Yorke, for his exceptional stewardship, integrity and guidance to the organisation and its people. He inspires awe but never fear. His patience, quiet manner and hardworking nature and his ability to identify and solve problems have earned him the true admiration of his colleagues and associates.
Throughout the years, Bob Yorke has led Yorke Structures Limited always with a keen awareness for the welfare of his staff, a clear vision of the future but rooted always in the economic realities of the present and with an inspiring sense of personal balance. This has gained him the respect of the company's clients as well as the wider community as a whole. The company is his creation and its reputation reflects the reputation of its leader as a fair and strictly honest man whose word has always been his bond. As the company looks back on its thirty nine years and forward with enthusiasm and confidence to the future, Bob Yorke has much of which to be proud.
The company operates a modern fabricating plant in Arima situated on 13 acres of land controlled by a Quality System certified in accordance with ISO 9001:2008.  The main fabrication workshop occupies in excess of 80,000 square feet with a capacity of approximately 2,500 tons per annum.  Through Dr. Yorke’s commitment to the provision of goods and services that are of the highest quality, competitively priced and produced by motivated and adequately compensated workers, The company has been instrumental in the development of the energy industry in Trinidad and Tobago as a result of its involvement in the construction of the majority of the methanol, urea, ammonia, steel, iron- carbide and liquefied natural gas plants.
In order to fill a need in the country, he established Industrial Fastenings Limited in 1975, to manufacture bolts, nuts and other fasteners for the construction and oil industry.   This company employs approximately 60 employees.

In 1985 Mr. Yorke purchased the Mount Irvine Bay Hotel and Golf Club in Tobago, from the then Malaysian owners who were divesting their interests in Trinidad and Tobago. This was notable as he was the first Tobagonian to purchase a hotel of that size. This hotel which is one of the premier hotels on the island employs over 160 persons, all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. . He said Mt Irvine was a really good property and wished more citizens acquired their own land.  He recalled while growing up near the hotel, his father was once reprimanded for trespassing so he felt good when he became the owner. “I see Mt Irvine as a property not as a hotel and I think local people should look around for properties like these because the commanding life of this country must be controlled by the people of the country,” he said.
In 2001, through Mr. Yorke’s initiative, Yorke Structures Limited established a joint venture with Nucor Corporation, the largest manufacturer of steel in the United States to provide engineering and detailing services for seven (7) of their divisions  via electronic communication for export to the U.S.   Nu Yorke was located in the Freezone in D’Abadie and employed approximately 30 persons.
While Yorke ran his company he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that impairs motor skills, cognitive processes and other functions.
Mr. Yorke is a Chartered Structural Engineer, registered with the Board of Engineering of Trinidad and Tobago, a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Life Fellow of the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago. He is the Patron of the Institution of Structural Engineers (Caribbean Division).
He is also the recipient of the highest award given by APPETT for a “Career of Excellence” in 2003.  He received the Service Award from the Institution of Structural Engineers “for his strong support of the engineering profession in the Caribbean and of the Institution of Structural Engineers, without which the Institution would not have achieved its high, positive profile”.  
In 2004 he was awarded the ‘Service Award” from the Institution of Structural Engineers. Recently, Robert Yorke was awarded the “People’s Choice Award” by the Institution of Structural Engineers. In November 2005 Robert Yorke was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Engineering and Entrepreneurship from the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
After 39 hard working years to keep his business, Yorke Structures Ltd thriving, Robert T. Yorke retired on January 1, 2011, though he knows it will be difficult to stay away. On the 31st August 2011 Dr. Robert T. Yorke was awarded the Chaconia Medal Gold for his long and meritorious service to Trinidad and Tobago in sphere of business.