Mel Shochet became a ham radio operator at age 12. When he got to college at Penn, a faculty member hired him to do testing and design of electronics for an experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He then sent him there for the summer and Mel was hooked. Initially he didn’t know much about the physics of the experiment (in particle physics), but he had a great time that summer and has never looked back.
Mel proceeded to graduate school at Princeton, and then came to the University of Chicago, where he has been ever since. He has won teaching awards and a Sloan Foundation award. After participating in the detection of the top quark at FermiLab, Mel played a leading role in the ATLAS project on the Large Hadron Collider, where he participated in the discovery of the Higgs Boson.