Martin Hebel

(Photos by Christi Mathis)

February 23, 2011

Ten questions with ... Martin Hebel

Job on campus/department you work in: Associate professor, Electronic Systems Technologies in the School of Information Systems and Technologies.

How long at SIUC: Three years as an undergrad, two years in graduate school, 14 years as faculty.

Hometown: Peru, Ill.

When you were a youngster, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve always had a fascination with technology, and looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t electrocute myself with some of the things I tried. Having been one of the first in my hometown with a personal computer (1978 or so), I was quickly drawn to programming and the ability to make that machine do what I wanted it to do. Although I always thought I’d go into computer science, I found electronics technologies and embedded programming more suited to my nature.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be and why? I’d probably be involved in embedded control design and computer interfacing as a profession either in a company or in a consulting capacity.

What is something you still want to accomplish in life? I’d like to obtain my Ph.D. I’ve been meaning to start for years and it’s always on my mind to accomplish.

What was the first “album” you ever bought, and was it an LP, 8-track or CD? The first album I can remember owning was Elton John’s “Greatest Hits” on vinyl. I still enjoy early Elton John -- “Honky Chateau," “Elton John,” “Madman Across the Water,” etc.

If you could pick an actor/actress to play you in a movie, who would you pick and why? It would be nice to say Brad Pitt or someone like that, but I guess Anthony Edwards would be more appropriate!

What is one random fact about you? I spent nearly 12 years in the Navy in nuclear propulsion on submarines.

Cats or dogs? Cats are OK, but definitely dogs. No matter how bad things get sometimes, they are always happy to see you and are much more fun to wrestle with than our cat. Our German shepherd mix I can roughhouse with, our Australian shepherd mix is a bit of a baby though.

What is your favorite food and why? I’m a pretty simple eater, and while I enjoy battling crab legs, I’d have to say my favorite meal is leftovers after Thanksgiving -- turkey simmered in gravy over bread with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce…Dang, when’s Thanksgiving???

Who has inspired you, and how? My inspirations have been mainly from teachers throughout my life. Harry House in junior high for science, Rev. Eugene Lauer at St. Bede Academy in high school for physics and computer programming and Will Devenport here at SIUC as one of my undergraduate professors. I not only enjoyed the subject matter but their methods of teaching, their going beyond the classroom material and their encouragement. I wish I could be as good a teacher and mentor as they were.

What is your pet peeve? I guess my biggest pet peeve is people who scrape their fork across their teeth when they eat. The sound of metal scraping for me is like nails on a chalkboard to many. And yes, having my teeth cleaned is a quite unnerving experience for me!