Philip Thomas graduated in Cybernetics and Instrument Physics from Reading University with a BSc (First Class Honours) and University Prize. He gained over 20 years' experience working in the chemical and nuclear industries. His initial posting was with ICI, where he spent 5 years developing control systems for large chemical plants, making extensive use of techniques for dynamic simulation. He then joined the UKAEA/ AEA Technology, where he headed up Departments concerned with: C&I product development for nuclear and non-nuclear use, non-destructive testing technology and materials research, and research into remote handling and decommissioning of nuclear plant, where he was Customer Project Manager for the green-field decommissioning of the 100MWth/33MWe Windscale AGR. His book, Simulation of Industrial Processes for Control Engineers, was published in 1999.
He was appointed an Honorary Visiting Professor at City University London in 1995, and took up a full-time Chair in Engineering Development in 2000, a position he held until January 2015. The University of Bristol appointed him Professor of Risk Management in July 2015. He has published over 100 articles on control, instrumentation, nuclear decommissioning, risk assessment and economics, as well as 30 industrial reports (recent papers are mainly listed on the J-value website, www.jvalue.co.uk). His work in risk analysis and management has excited the interest of the national and international press; his findings have been covered by both broadsheets and the popular press, and he has given several radio and television interviews. His work has received sponsorship from a number of organisations, including EPSRC, ESRC, Government departments, EU and industrial companies. City University awarded him a DSc in 2005 for his contribution to science and engineering.