Joël Mesot studied physics at ETH Zurich and obtained a doctorate in solid-state physics in 1992. In 1995, he was awarded the SPS (Swiss Physical Society) IBM Prize and in 2002 the ETH Zurich Latsis Prize. After residing in France (Institut Laue-Langevin, Grenoble) and the USA (Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago), he returned to ETH and joined PSI, where he became Head of the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering in 2004 and was appointed Director by the Federal Council in 2007 until he took over the Presidency of ETH Zurich.
He has been a member of the ETH Board since 2010 and Second Vice-President of the Marcel Benoist Foundation, as well as a member of the Board of Switzerland Innovation. Internationally, Joël Mesot is a member of the Senate of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers and member of various non-European expert committees, such as the Governing Board of the CREATE center in Singapore.