Robert Mc Kenna

Robert Mc Kenna


  • York Street, Belfast Campus

    BT15 1ED Belfast

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Robert McKenna FHEA CMBE MSc BSc (Hons)

Robert McKenna is a Lecturer and Placement Coordinator, with the Department of Hospitality and Tourism at the Ulster University.  Robert has extensive experience as a Hospitality and Tourism professional, in a wide variety of roles in both the private and public sectors.  Robert’s industrial experience spans 30 years working in hospitality & tourism operations and management positions in the private sector in the UK, Ireland and USA.  In addition, to public sector roles including the role of Chief Executive of the Tourism Training Trust.  Robert also owned and managed a successful café franchise, prior to taking the post with the University. 

Robert is a lecturer in Food & Beverage Operations on the International Hospitality Management Programme with the Department of Hospitality and Tourism.  He has particular responsibility for second year students in Food & Beverage Operations Management, Research Methods, Industrial Placement, Performance Metrics Analysis and Business Plan/Research Paper.   During his career he has developed and delivered programmes for industry, in areas such as business and personal development to assist business growth.  In addition he has worked to bring industry and education together through organising events to help people of all ages understand and gain skills required for industry. 

Robert’s main research areas include Food and Beverage Operations, Quality Issues/Management, Revenue Management, Delivering Service Excellence, Urban Regeneration, Urban Tourism, Student Transition and Progression.

Robert has been an external examiner with Limerick Institute of Technology and Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.   Robert is currently external examiner with Shannon College of Hotel Management, Limerick (University of Galway).

Robert successfully completed Level 3 HOSPA Strategic Revenue Managemnet through the Hospitality Professionals Association which is a Hospitality Industry professional award, and was in the top 3 learners for that cohort.

Robert is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2015.  He is also Chair of the Ulster University Business School Employability Sub Committee and he is a Chartered Member of Business Educators.  I am currently working through a Masters in Education.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Hospitality Professional Association - HOSPA


Award Date: 20 Jan 2021

Master, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Ulster University Business School


Award Date: 16 Dec 2015

Master, International Hospitality, Travel, Tourism & Leisure Management, Ulster University Business School


Award Date: 4 Jul 2003

Bachelor, Hotel and Catering Management, Manchester Metropolitan University


Award Date: 11 Nov 1993

External positions

Coffee Shop Franchise Owner/Proprietor

Jul 2006Apr 2013

Chief Executive, Tourism Training Trust

Aug 2000Jul 2006

Project Manager, Hospitality Matters

Aug 1997Jul 2000

Assistant Manager, Hospitality Matters

Aug 1995Jul 1997


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