Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Paul van Susante

Advisor 2

Guy Meadows

Committee Member 1

Andrew Barnard


The current solutions for managing rooted aquatic invasive plants are time consuming, have negative environmental impacts, or are cost-limiting for management organizations. The most effective treatment method is hand pulling, but hand pulling is not a feasible solution for a whole lake. A new device, the invasive aquatic plant extractor, aims to replace human divers who hand pull plants with a mechanical system. The device implements a machine-plant interface that resembles the tines of a fork. These tines will be pushed linearly through the substrate, and then raised from the substrate with the plant caught in the tines. The primary purpose of this paper is to discuss the impacts of tine configuration and tine geometric traits on tine performance and identify tine geometry that consistently removes the target plants. Force, turbidity, and plant removal capability data were collected. All testing occurred in tanks containing representative substrate and common, rooted invasive plants. Wide tines with wide spacing perform the best of the four configurations tested. Tines with square or rounded edge shape perform better than pointed edges. Increasing the tine rake angle with respect to a vertical plane increases the performance of the tines. The data collected in this study suggests that tines will be part of an effective invasive aquatic plant extractor.