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Inspired by peers’ belief in themselves to explore, focus, and achieve

Hatch Product Development founder (Gordon) Addison Merchut’09 threw himself into his physics studies and undergraduate life while at Beloit College, where he also began to explore engineering. Subsequent engineering studies and diverse work experiences, along with an entrepreneurial spirit nurtured at Beloit, led to his current role.

Addison Merchut?09 Addison Merchut’09 arrived at Beloit College deeply invested in physics. Before he even began his undergraduate studies, he’d already interned twice with Fermilab, the U.S. national accelerator laboratory. He’d go on to intern with Fermilab for a total of seven times, including two internships after graduating from Beloit. His investment in physics didn’t end with Fermilab, however.

While at Beloit, he served as both a physics department teaching assistant and tutor, participated in faculty hiring, helped run the weekly physics tea and game lunch, and learned Linux and electrical engineering both in and outside the classroom.

He also took close to every physics class offered, until finally in his senior year, he reluctantly took art classes in order to fulfill the college’s graduation requirements. Today, he attributes some of his understanding of sales and marketing to that experience.

Addison’s life at Beloit College was not limited to the physics department, however. He played frisbee, learned how to make sandwiches (with mixed success) in DK’s cafe, bartended at C-Haus, crashed TKE parties, took long bike rides into Wisconsin’s corn fields, made the swim team in his senior year, and, pre-GPS, managed to find the Rockford Chipotle on Sunday nights.

What came after Beloit? Within a year of doctoral studies in physics, Addison realized engineering was his real passion. He therefore left physics behind to earn an MS in mechanical engineering from Northern Illinois University with a focus on robotics.

Working first at Omron Automation and subsequently at Astronics, he then acquired the diverse set of experiences in manufacturing, commercial aerospace, consumer product design, and engineering that enabled him to launch his own company in Chicago in April 2021, Hatch Product Development. Today he works with a team of experienced aerospace and consumer product engineers to offer commercial product engineering services.

Thinking about his time at Beloit College, Addison’s reflects, “From the very first day at Beloit, you become part of a community of students who really believe that they can accomplish anything. This fueled my entrepreneurial spirit, and translated into my wanting to both focus and work as hard as possible. At Beloit, you will also be exposed to more unique, interesting, opinionated, and truly incredible people than you will find in New York City’s Times Square; and the best part is that you will end up calling these people your friends for life.”

Elizabeth Brewer
September 01, 2021

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