I was born in Huddersfield, where I attended King James's Grammar School. I then went to University College London, obtaining a BSc and a PhD.
From 1970-78 I worked at the Meudon Observatory (France), first as a Royal Society European Fellow and then in CNRS (the French national research organization); I also spent one year at the ETH, Zurich (Switzerland) as a European Space Research Organization Fellow.
Since 1978 I have worked in the Physics Department at Durham. My research interests include atomic and molecular collision physics and astrophysics, particularly the physics of the interstellar medium. I have taught the following courses: atomic and nuclear physics, crystal optics, group theory, classical mechanics, hydrodynamics, mathematical
methods, optics, molecular collisions, interstellar chemistry.