Stuart was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. Graduating in 1975 from Glasgow University, Stuart moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada where he earned a masters degree from the University of New Brunswick. After two years as a research/teaching assistant at UNB, and after acquiring a New Brunswick wife, Stuart moved west to Vancouver where he spent 8 years as Mapping Production Manager for a large surveying and engineering company. In 1987 he moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as a member of the United Nations Development Program project to assist the Saudi government to establish home grown mapping capability. After 9 years as Geomatics Coordinator in Riyadh he returned to Vancouver and a position as Director of Production for the largest mapping company in Canada, where he stayed until his retirement in 2008. During that time Stuart made many trips to the Middle East, India and China.