While a physicist by training, Charlie became an expert at analog circuit design, able to bridge the gap between the two professions. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from MIT in experimental particle physics. He began working at Fermilab in 1976 on experiment E272 as a senior research fellow from the University of Rochester. He was hired by Fermilab two years later on Sept. 5, 1978, as an applied scientist.