Robert Wylie Anderson was born in 1894, the son of former NEIMME President Robert Simpson Anderson, and was educated at Oundle School.
In the First World War he served in the Tyne Electrical Engineers and was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross.
Between 1921 and 1925 he was manager of South Skelton Collieries for Bolckow, Vaughan & Co Ltd. For most of his career Anderson worked for Seghill Colliery Ltd, between 1925 and 1940. Later he was a consulting mining engineer.
Anderson was President of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers between 1944 and 1946.
He died in 1988, aged 93.