Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name

BS in Mechanical Engineering




Dr. Andrew Davol


The Santa Maria Discovery Museum would like to add a tsunami wave tank to be one of their demonstrations. The wave tank needs to draw the attention of their young crowd and be educationally informative about the shapes and effects of waves. As this is a museum demonstration for children, the structure, user interface, and wave making mechanism must be durable.

We are a senior project team from California Polytechnic State University that worked on this project with Allan Hancock College and Stanford University. We created waves by rapidly moving a plunger vertically in the water column. This project allows a user to select between two wave modes (single wave and continuous) and input a frequency and amplitude. Although the senior project is finished, there is still work that needs to be done before the display is ready. While part of this is further kid proofing and aesthetic improvements, there is still work to be done on the mechanism as well as the control software and hardware