Philip Sporn graduated from Columbia University School of Engineering in 1917 with a degree in electrical engineering. He was then employed by the American Electric Power Company, where he rose to president in 1947.
Sporn was an explicit proponent of nuclear power, serving as a consultant to the Oak Ridge Nuclear Power Project in 1947, and as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Cooperation between the Electrical Industry and Atomic Energy Commission from 1949 to 1951. From 1953 to 1957, he was a member of the Brookhaven National Laboratory Nuclear Energy and Reactor Divisions Committee.
In 1955 and 1958 he participated in the Geneva Conference for the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. He served as vice president in 1959 on the committee that evaluated the Shippingsport reactor, which was the first commercial nuclear power plant in the United States. From 1955 to 1961, he was president of the Nuclear Power Group. The company worked with Commonwealth Edison Company on the design and construction of a boiling water reactor.