Phil obtained a BS in Physics from Clemson University in 1985, an MS in Physics (ultra-low temperature physics) from the University of Florida in 1990, and a PhD in Physics (atmospheric physics) from Clemson University in 1993. He spent one year in Germany on Fulbright Scholarship (1985-1986) working in nuclear solid-state physics. Phil completed a postdoc in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy (currently the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research) during 1994-1997. He then worked as a research scientist at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (1997-200). Phil returned to the US to assume a research scientist position at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (2000-2004). He has been with the University of Oklahoma since 2005 as a Professor in the School of Meteorology and with the Advanced Radar Research Center.