Dr. Harold T Evensen

Profile image for Dr. Harold T Evensen

Contact Info

285 Sesquicentennial Hall
1000 Southwest Rd
Platteville, WI 53818

Campuses and Colleges

  • UW-Platteville
  • Engineering, Mathematics and Science

Department Info

0285 Sesquicentennial Hall



The 6th Annual UW-Platteville Holiday Toy Hack was on Saturday, November 18, 2023!  54 volunteers met in the Huff Family Innovation Center in Sesquicentennial Hall.   This year's group adapted over 50 electronic toys, so that they can be operated with external switches and buttons.  This enables kids with special needs, who may not be able to manipulate the toys otherwise, to interact and play!  These toys are donated to families, clinics, and others who find them useful.  This included Platteville Public Schools, Variety - the Children's Charity of Wisconsin and families reached through The Arc of East Central Iowa and the Marshfield Clinic. Thank you to our volunteers!

The university's article on the 2022 event is linked here. Photos from 2023 are linked here.

You can help!  We put any donations to good use. (We purchase toys, tools, wires, connectors, and switches; see UW-Platteville Foundation -- use Toy Hack Project #R1075... or, Venmo @UWP_ToyHack !  Note, the Venmo method is not tax-deductible.) 
* Any questions? Please feel free to email Prof. Evensen.

Missed it? We'll see you in 2024! We welcome student volunteers from all majors and all parts of campus!  We have had student participants from all colleges – we have something for everyone, and can “train you up!”  

Recipients, past and future, please feel free to contact Prof. Evensen with any feedback.  
We are looking to identify individuals and organizations, and the type of toys they would like that would require some adaptive modification.  

Videos!  See our toys in action.




Educational Background

Dr. Evensen earned his PhD and Master of Science in Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics from Michigan Technological University.

Dr. Evensen's thesis work was in the area of experimental plasma physics and nuclear fusion. While working as a postdoctoral research associate in the Electrical Engineering department at the University of Washington, he worked on automation applied to DNA sequencing.


Professional Background

My more recent research areas include:

  • Carbon nanotube-based electronics:  self-assembly of semiconducting carbon nanotube films, and application of these to electronics and sensors.  
    • Read about some of my students here and here.
  • Automated rotational grazing (video here): funded by the Dairy Innovation Hub, this project tries to automate the movement and tracking of a dairy herd. This has been a lot of fun. This effort with automated rotational grazing is with a local organic dairy farmer. I've enjoyed working with students from EP, ME, EE, CSSE and ITS, and learning about dairy farming along the way!
  • Industry 4.0 / Mechatronics / Internet of Things:  
    • I've been working with several students in our "I40" lab, on advanced automation, including machine vision, robot arms, smart sensors and cloud-based data collection.  
      • Two students made a tic-tac-toe game with a FANUC robot arm; video is here.
  • Also, we've been working with faculty and industry advisors to develop curriculum related to the Internet of Things, and related areas.
  • I am continuing research done during my 2021-22 sabbatical with Professor Mike Arnold's Advanced Materials for Energy and Electronics group.  My students and I are presently working on nanolithography of graphene nanoribbons.