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Phil Pitcher

DE&S and SDA Specialist Fellow

Phil has worked in the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) Explosive Safety Organisations as a Technical Specialist for 14 years. He is a Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) specialist fellow for maritime explosive safety technology. His current role is to support Naval Authority Group (NAG) trials and evaluation programmes for the explosives section.

He also advises maritime project teams and external stakeholders on mitigation techniques and threat protection design solutions to remove / reduce associated risk(s). Before his MoD civilian career, he was a weapons engineer in the Royal Air Force (RAF) where he was employed on aircraft weapon systems including air to air missiles, ejection seats and explosive licencing before moving into the world of Joint Service EOD / IEDD operations. His career in the civilian WOME domain has been varied and interesting including a Support to Operations (S2O) assignment in Afghanistan embedded in the Counter Improvised Explosives Disposal Transformation Tiger Team (CTTT).

Phil is a Fellow in the Institute of Explosive Engineers, a chartered engineer to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, a member of the International Ballistics Society and holds the rank of Constructor Lt Cdr in the Royal Corp of Naval Constructors (RCNC).

He is a chairman for UK Engineering Council (EC) Professional Review Interviews supporting the mechanical institute. Since 2012 he has produced several academic papers which have been published in International Ballistics Symposiums, the Journal of Applied Mechanics, Elsevier, Explosives Institute Journals, Defence Technology and the Royal Naval Engineer publications. In 2018 he successfully completed the Advanced Command Staff Course for Reserve Officers at the UK Defence Academy.

Phil Pitcher
Phil had limited career options on leaving school…

his dream of joining the Royal Navy or becoming a dockyard apprentice at Devonport was shattered as they didn’t want him. However, after a regrettable homemade pyrotechnic incident, and a local police constable’s involvement, the Royal Air Force (RAF) hired him and fate turned to a fortune! A fresh faced 16-year-old boy embarked his early life into the world of explosives initially serving 26 years as an armorer in the RAF where he enjoyed life. On wanting a change of environment and career direction he went on to complete an additional fifteen years as a civilian MoD technical specialist and now is a DE&S / SDA specialist fellow and the subject matter expert in maritime explosive safety technology.

This presentation will briefly cover his early steps into a mainly ‘hands on’ service environment and include elements being employed as a home office licensed improvised explosive disposal device. (IEDD) operator. Driven by enthusiasm in the subject of explosive science, the presentation will primarily focus on the upskilling opportunities he has exploited as a civilian. It will include his experiences on Operations HERRICK and ENDURING FREEDOM as part of the Counter IED Transformation Tiger Team.