Shechtman received his BSc, MSc, and PhD from Technion in 1966, 1968, and 1972, respectively. He joined the Technion Faculty of Materials Engineering in 1975, and was made Distinguished Professor in 1998. He holds the Philip Tobias Chair in Material Sciences, and heads the Louis Edelstein Centre for Quasicrystals. "In 1975, I was offered a position at Technion. I was made a Distinguished Professor – there are some 7 and 3 of us are Nobel laureates."
Dan Shechtman discovered the Icosahedral Phase in 1982. It is the first structure in the field of quasi-periodic crystals, and was discovered in aluminum transition metal alloys.
He instigated the course Technological Entrepreneurship in 1986, referring to it as “my baby,” and has overseen it annually ever since. The course is offered in the winter semester each year and comprises 14 guest lectures, some of which are inspirational talks delivered by successful Israeli entrepreneurs. Shechtman is invited to lecture worldwide about the Technological Entrepreneurship course, arousing much interest. He considers himself a missionary, “I coordinate the course with pleasure. I do it for Israel.”
"This is the Israeli spirit. Sometimes this leads to chaos; but free thinking encourages successful scientists. We are living here in a free society... many of us do not follow the rules, and this is part of the national character of a free-thinking people."
Between 2001 and 2004, Shechtman served as chairperson of the sciences division, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Now as a member, he continues to oversee the translation of the Nobel Prize scientific posters into Hebrew, and their annual distributes to schools throughout the country.
Shechtman has been voted as an outstanding lecturer by his students at the Technion for ten years consecutively. He is married and lives in Haifa. He has four children and nine grandchildren.