A bit more about me...

Simon mugshot
Hi! In this part of my website I'll blog a bit more about myself. I suppose one of my main interests, and why I choose to be an academic, is being involved with creative technology and computer engineering activities. But I'm not all about work; indeed I like the great outdoors (being in nature) and doing some fun hobbies.

My areas of expertise include (somewhat in order of interest and experience) the following: Computer Engineering; Embedded Systems; FPGA design; Software and Firmware Development; High Performance Computing systems and application development; programming and parallel/distributed processing; and knowledge management.

Certainly one of my favourite things is seeing students' developing interesting prototypes and systems, together with developing their own expertise and developing profession practices in the profession. In terms of supervising postgraduate work I certainly find it a honour to guide and collaborate with these students, whether young or old, to help them become good researchers and accomplish their experiments and research effectively.
Photo in office Simon in his office. Yes, you may consider the CRT monitor an unused historical display piece.
Research and teaching are, unsurprisingly, where I spend much of my time. I do admit that standing up and lecturing is not my favourite type of activity. But I understand that if you're teaching a course then you'll need to do some of this traditionally lecturing activity. I do prefer following project-based learing (PrBL) strategies where possible, as I think this is a more interactive and interesting approach for students to use and to  gain deeper insight and understanding of the subject concerned.
Simon meeting with students
Simon chatting with students
Outside of the classroom, I do tend to take advantage of some of the benefits of being an academic, such as attending conferences to do some show and tell in terms of the research and teaching that I've been involved with. Of course, it's difficult to resist a bit of touring while one is out of town - if just to prove to oneself how much better it can be in one's home town.
Victoria falls makes for cool background scenery.
Outside of work and academic pursuits, I do try to spend some time outdoors, doing active things like hiking and water sports. I admittedly enough also like watching TV. Kayaking
Padding about aimlessly.
Another one of my hobbies is art, particularly drawing and sketching. You might think an engineer doing art makes for a weird creature. While I am eccentric, and certainly hetero, I do find art a nice escapist hobby. Here are a few examples of my drawings. It tends to be quick experiments for the most part, at least nowadays, since I tend not to have enough time to focus on accomplishing more involved works.
Two birds beaking When flowers break free Sweety Tweety
Two birds a beeking When flowers break free Sweety Tweety
Simon Painting
Simon doing some painting, in his favourite color as well.
Cars feature high on my list of hobbies, and as a fun reading pursuits as well. I alas, or maybe sensibly, gave up on attempting to fixing car engines myself. Probably better to leave it to the experts in my opinion. Anyway, on the right here is Marylou, which was my first real American car - a Ford even probably (fortunately?) had its engine - if not everything else - made in Japan). Anyway it ran 'real good' and didn't give me a moment of trouble... yes, honestly. I still like Fords, especially if the doors close with a convincing clunk, which was the case with Marylou but can't necessarily be said for Fords in general. Regardless, I decided to broaden my experiences, if not my horizons, by considering other options. Car pic
Car washing, I've found, can be suitable outdoor excercise.
Cars don't just simply give you a means to travel. There are other features, like using them as an armrest? Sitting in them listening to music? 'Bertha' on the right had a name to suggest a shiny storage place, and she could double as resting place. Ok, maybe I can't argue that the main feature of cars are certainly travel. I can definitely vouch for the Chrysler PT Cruiser being a nice ride, it has excellent headroom as well as legroom - with many sedan type cars today you either seem to get enough headroom or enough legroom; usually not both, and not necessarily either. I suppose, if I dare to mention an ultra-standard car model: I gotta respect the Toyota Corolla (or better the Camry) as it has both headspace and leg space - I've driven a few of them as hire car, but I've never owned one myself incase you were concerned that I liked some of the more girly car models out there. PT Cruiser
PT Crusering about used to be one of my pasttimes.
A Pontiac is one of those totally authentic American cars, which was on the top of my wish list. Andriage on the right is represents an early 2000s American car. I would have liked a Firebird in particular, but I guess some things aren't meant to be. Anyway, I test drove a Firebird and it was fun and drives great. I also took a Sunbird (a previously owned '99 model) for a test drive - but it wasn't quite up to expectations, especially after a Firebird; it was a nice car though, but I don't match my personality appropriately (well, actually the main reason was because one of my friends said it was a girly car). But the Pontiac G6, on the other hand, I liked and it was a more restrained and economical creature (Ok, the full truth is that it was a bit less expensive also). I think everything in the G6 must have been from Japan or somewhere in Asia. It ran great and preformed acceptably. Only gripe, in retrospect, was that it was a little low on power; but it was a more modern car and I think a suitable trade-off considering fuel prices. Anyway, nowadays I'm not so driven by having to have lots of power for a car, the priorities are more on comfort inside, lots of space, and generally cool. Pontiac G6
Pontiac G6. Concluding an American journey from red to black. From mostly fun to more serious.
Yoga is another one of my hobbies, together with gardening and cycling. These are all kind of made for each other because the first fixes up the poor posture of the others. I don't attend yoga classes, although I would like to be really good at it to get all the tricky postures done right. Then maybe I could teach yoga as a hobby.
And then there's dog and dogutainment activities. So, walking and hiking features on my list of hobbies as well. The doggie is getting on some, so it's nothing too strenuous nowadays. Like a longish beach walk would tire the creature out for the day, as the photo on the far right illustrates. Anyway, I'm certainly more a dog person, cats can be easier to take care of I guess, but I don't think cats are as fun and willing to go on adventurous outings as dogs are. So hip hip hooray for dogs!! :-) Simon and dog Dog rest

home research teaching links about me contact me