Dr. Hal Evensen, University of Wisconsin-Platteville professor of engineering physics, is the recipient of the inaugural Dale Dixon Professor of Engineering Award. The award was established by Dr. Dale Dixon, a former engineering department chair in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, to celebrate engineering faculty excellence.
“To be recognized is humbling,” said Evensen. “We have a lot of good, young faculty members who really inspire me. Through them I see new and better ways to do things. It’s very gratifying. I work hard at what I do. It’s nice to be recognized.”
The award provides a total of $15,000 over a three-year period to be used for summer salary, professional development, research and/or student salaries. Evensen focused his budget on research, supplies, student salaries and professional development opportunities.
“I do research in the nano lab,” said Evensen. “We’ll be getting supplies and students will be working on carbon nanotube transistors. That work grew out of my last sabbatical with the research group at UW [University of Wisconsin-Madison]. In year two, I will be at UW rejoining that research group.”
According to Evensen, the funds in year three will again target supplies, student researcher salaries and the outcome of his work at UW-Madison.
“The idea will be to ramp up and bring online the results of the work I have,” he said. “In year 2021-22, I will have results that I hope to bring back to campus and continue the research with my students.”
The award brings extra significance to Evensen who teaches in the wing named after Dixon in Engineering Hall. When Evensen first joined UW-Platteville, he worked with faculty who were connected to the former professor.
“Once you have been on campus for a couple of decades like I have; you have a better appreciation of the history,” he said. “It’s nice to see that sense of continuity and sense of history.”
Evensen is looking forward to having more students working in the lab. He notes student researchers will learn about the technical areas of carbon nanotube electronics, gain more hands-on experience and be able to take charge on an open-ended project.
“This is a nice and new opportunity that is focused on our college,” said Evensen. “It is a very generous award. It’s focused on a slice of our campus. It’s going to be a really cool thing moving forward as more people win this award.”