Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Dennis Manos

Committee Members

Jeffery Nelson

Donglai Gong


In 2009, many research groups at different companies and universities were funded by Statoil to study the use of algae as a potential biofuel. Combined with the Chesapeake Bay TMDL given by the EPA, a team at William & Mary and VIMS studied the growth and harvest of wild algae in the York River. This method also removed harmful nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from the waterways. Other independent research projects stemmed from this. In 2014, a research team sought to commercialize and automate the IWAGS system, and found that a single oscillating blade was the most effective. This purpose of this thesis is to study the motion of the water in the near-blade region of an oscillating knife using small-scale laboratory studies and computational physics modelling software. Using these findings, a more efficient blade for underwater algal harvesting can be designed.