Philip Bryant was born in England in 1942. He studied at University College London where he received a B.Sc. (Hons) in physics in 1963, a M.Sc. in microwave engineering in 1965 and a Ph.D also in microwave engineering in 1970. In 1968 Bryant joined the Magnet Group in the Intersecting Storage Rings (ISR) Project at CERN. In his time with the ISR, Bryant headed a number of improvement projects and the construction of a transfer line to bring anti-protons to the ISR. After 1983, he spent 8 years as Head of the CERN Accelerator School, before returning to accelerator design and heading the Austron Spallation Source Design Study and then the Proton-Ion Medical Machine Study that was the precursor of the presently-operating CNAO and Med-Austron cancer therapy centres.
At the end of his CERN career, he became one of the two deputy project leaders for the LHC. In recent years he has worked on CT scanners and more recently on CVD diamond detectors while maintaining an interest in accelerators and accelerator design.