Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Eileen Rossman


The MBMM, represented by our sponsor Bob McCay, is currently looking for a new way to support the Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), Avalon, that they have on display. The DSRV is currently sitting on a Short Haul Vehicle (SHV) trailer and the total weight (32 tons) is currently being supported by the SHV’s tires. This is a source of concern for the MBMM due to the weathering the tires have undergone combined with the amount of time that they have been supporting the weight. The MBMM is looking for a support structure that will take the weight off of the tires so that they can be removed at their convenience. Our goal for this senior project, under the direction of our advisor Eileen Rossman, was to design a structure that will allow the museum to support the submersible, keep as much of it visible for viewing as possible, and allow the museum to transport it to its final location at their proposed Interpretive Center in the future. First, background research was conducted regarding both submersible support structures, and other types of structures that support large, heavy objects. Next, idea generation sessions were held, and potential solutions were selected using a combination of go/no-go evaluation, pugh matrices, and a weighted decision matrix. The decision regarding the final design was left to the MBMM, as our weighted decision matrix indicated that aesthetics was the final deciding factor. After the final design was selected, extensive analysis was conducted to determine whether it was feasible. To validate the design, we built a steel scaled model of the most critical portion of our design and tested it under the anticipated load case. We also built a wooden, full-scale model of our design for geometric testing. Our testing on the steel scaled model indicated that the design did not meet the strict seismic requirement in our engineering specifications. After discussing this with the MBMM, they agreed to loosen the seismic requirement. However, before manufacturing begins, we recommend that the MBMM have a structural engineer look over our design and calculations, and verify that our structures will not fail in the event of an earthquake.