Bob Martin

Innovators in Electronic Design - Trailblazer: Bob Martin, Microchip Technology

Dec. 8, 2022
Bob Martin, Senior Staff Engineer at Microchip, has spent 30+ years impacting the Maker community through professional and nonprofit work.

This article is part of the Innovators 2023 issue.

Bob Martin is affectionately named the Wizard of Make (Senior Staff Engineer) at Microchip Technology Inc. He has spent over 30 years building, tinkering, innovating, and encouraging other engineer hobbyists to continue to create new, inventive, and helpful technologies.

After graduating with a BSEE from the University of Saskatchewan in 1987, Bob started his career at a Research and Development center in Saskatchewan, Canada, as a principal applications engineer. He was involved with designing and implementing embedded-systems environmental research in collaboration with Environment Canada and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This experience also included designing command and data telemetry systems used in high-altitude weather-balloon systems along with becoming part of the launch and recovery teams for these weather-balloon missions.

Bob then became one of the primary design engineers for chemical weapons detection used by the Canadian and American forces based in the Gulf of Arabia during the Gulf War. His expertise in remote environmental monitoring continued with the design of a toxic-gas detection system for use in coal mines located in the Southeastern U.S.

A move to California in 1995 began his career path in Silicon Valley, starting with National Semiconductor supporting the COP8 microcontroller. Bob's responsibilities quickly spread to the x86 group, as his experience in embedded Linux helped develop reference systems for the WebPad (precursor to tablets), set-top box, and thin-client markets.

After a decade at National Semiconductor, he moved over to Portal Player, where he worked on a project that was to become a new feature of Microsoft Windows involving a secondary display on PC platforms. A few companies later, he ended up at Atmel supporting the Arm 32-bit microcontrollers and microprocessors in 2010, eventually managing the central applications team up until 2016 when Atmel was acquired by Microchip.

Starting with National Semiconductor and continuing through his current career at Microchip, he has provided technical consulting for corporate tradeshow events along with developing and presenting hands-on training for both the professional and maker space. His classes are almost always completely booked, and he rates high in participant feedback.

He is Microchip’s technical liaison to the Maker community and the Chief Innovation Officer at MyMentorTree, a non-profit that allows high-school and middle-school students to interact with college-level science students and Silicon Valley engineers. Here, he has the opportunity to encourage students to enter science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

He has given lectures at UCSD, Stanford, NTNU, Cal Poly, and George Mason University. A regular attendee of Maker fairs in the Bay Area, New York, Rome, and Trondheim, Norway, he is well known in the Arduino/Maker community. In recognition for his contributions, he was recently awarded an Honorary Ph.D. in Technology from the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Ariz.

Read more articles in the Innovators 2023 issue.

Sponsored Recommendations


To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Electronic Design, create an account today!