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Evan Tennie’s electric snowboard wins 2021 WiSys Prototype Hackathon at UW-Platteville

WiSys Regional Associate Tony Hanson, left, announces Evan Tennie, right, as the winner of the 2021 WiSys Prototype Hackathon during the virtual presentation event.

PLATTEVILLE—A prototype for an electric snowboard took first place in the WiSys Prototype Hackathon on April 28.

The working prototype called “GoBoard,” created and presented by UW-Platteville mechanical engineering student Evan Tennie, earned the sophomore a $1,000 prize.

“The problem I'm trying to solve is a way to enjoy snowboarding without the need to purchase a lift ticket at ski hills and my idea would allow you to snowboard in places that don't have hills,” Tennie said of his project when registering for the competition. 

The WiSys Prototype Hackathon, held annually at UW-Platteville, engages students to design innovative product prototypes and demonstrate their commercial relevance. Teams have access to UW-Platteville facilities to build and design prototypes and also receive marketing and presentation mentoring.


The team of seniors Jacob Ubl, Matthew Nigh and Luke Beahan took second place and a $500 prize in the competition for their project “Aurora Scrub.” 

Their prototype aims to sanitize hard to clean items such as pens, staplers, and other shared office supplies with a closet/drawer using an ultraviolet (UVC) light system.


Students William Husen and Praise Obielodan took third place and a $250 prize for their prototype “CycleSafe.”

The safety system for bicycles, developed by the two juniors, mirrors the turn and brake lights used in automobiles and aims to eliminate confusion on the road.

Overall, six teams with a total of 10 students participated in this year’s event, which was mostly held virtually due to the pandemic.

“I’m always impressed by what comes out of the UW-Platteville innovation community and this competition specfically,” said WiSys President Arjun Sanga. “Each year the projects have gotten more sophisticated and this year was no exception.  Even in a tough year, where most things are virtual, these students were able to design, build, and present some exciting projects. These students and their ideas show great promise.”

WiSys partnered with UW-Platteville's Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the College of EMS and the Platteville Regional Chamber of Commerce to put on the event. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs sponsored the second place prize, while the Chamber sponsored the third place prize.

WiSys is a nonprofit organization that works with faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the UW System to facilitate cutting-edge research programs, develop and commercialize discoveries, and foster a spirit of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the state.