Phil graduated from the University of Strathclyde (twice) with a BSc and PhD in Chemistry. In 2001 he decided working with pyrophoric alkali metal compounds wasn’t quite dangerous enough and embarked on a career as an operational scientific adviser to London Fire Brigade. This involved responding to chemical spills and fires alongside fire crews, carrying out field analysis of unknown substances and advising senior officers on how to ensure incidents were resolved safely and securely. During this time he specialised in deployment of Detection, Identification and Monitoring equipment, hazmat training and fatalities involving hazardous substances. 

After fifteen years he hung up his breathing apparatus and joined the University of Glasgow as the chemical safety adviser working in the Safety and Environmental Protection Service. He has spent the past five years wandering the campus opening the doors to old laboratories, stores and cabinets and for the most part sighing and shaking his head sadly as a result.