Meet the Team: Phil Harris

Phil is focused on reducing the University’s Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions, maintaining the ISO 50001 certification for energy management, and working with the Estates department and the Sustainability Office to deliver the Net Zero carbon ambitions.

Phil had an unconventional route into his current role.  Initially studying for an undergraduate BA (Hons) in History, he retrained as a plumber and combustion engineer and started a 17-year career as a building services engineer and subsequently an energy manager for a national facilities maintenance company.  Whilst in this role he developed a passion for how buildings operate and relate to carbon production in the built environment.  This led to him returning to university to focus on a BSc in Building Services & Sustainable Engineering and a MSc in Energy.

  • Learning – Never stop learning, ask questions, and have an inquisitive mind. Many skills are transferable and relatable to a range of roles and responsibilities. I’m a qualified historian in a role that is fundamentally based on physics and engineering, so I speak from experience.
  • Building relationships – We’re in a relationship business. I believe it is easier to achieve ambitious goals if we bring people along with us.
  • Challenge everything – Challenge yourself, challenge what you’re told, challenge the orthodoxy, rise to the challenge that is achieving Net Zero.

I think a green career is a broad church. It accepts and hosts a wide range of opinions and people. It requires soft skills as much as hard skills. It is fulfilling in a way that some careers simply can’t be.

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