Date of Defense



Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. David Lyth

Second Advisor

Dr. Betsy Aller


A bulkhead is an artificial wall that spans the width of a pool. In order to satisfy customer needs it should be able to be moved to different locations. The bulkhead within the Gabel Natatorium at Western Michigan University can be moved. However, the process in which it is moved is unsafe and time consuming. The purpose of this project is to improve the process of moving the bulkhead from one end to the other. Furthermore, a new bulkhead is out of the question due to cost constraints. Therefore, the current bulkhead needs to be renovated or altered to accommodate recommendations to the movement process. Ample research gathered knowledge on existing moving processes and the rules that govern the bulkheads. This research, along with analyses conducted on the current method, aided in a brainstorming process, in which various alternative methods of movement were brought to light. These methods included variable buoyancy, a mechanical crank, a winch, and an electric motor, among others. Two final recommendations, variable buoyancy and a winch system, were chosen and implementation plans were developed. Lastly, an evaluation of these ideas was conducted, taking into consideration cost and benefit, safety, and time. The ultimate and ideal solution was found to be the winch system.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only