After graduating from University College London in 1983 his postgraduate studies involved the study of
electron collisions with atoms and molecules in the presence of laser fields. Awarded a SERC Postdoctoral
Fellowship in 1988 and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in 1990 he established the Molecular
Physics Group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London in 1990. The group
rapidly developed a wide ranging research programme studying atmospheric physics (in particular the mechanisms
of ozone depletion and global warming), collision physics and plasma physics. He was a co-founder of the UCL
Centre of Cosmic Chemistry and Physics commencing a research programme to study molecular formation in the
interstellar medium and planetary atmospheres.
Appointed Lecturer in 1998 and Reader in 2000 he joined the Open University in September 2002 as Professor of Physics. There he established the Molecular physics group and Astrochemistry group. His research interests have expanded to include research in nanotechnology, radiation chemistry and the origins of life. He has led many larger scale European projects and currently is coordinator of the Europlanet Consortium and research infrastructure. He was awarded OBE in 2007 for his services to Science.