Architecture Student Collaborates on Wave Energy Project Competing for $1.5 Million

Working with the Sea Potential team via Tinker Bristol, Andy Cole designed a scale model of the DUO Wave Energy Converter

A digital scale model design.
Andy Cole's scale model design of the DUO Wave Energy Converter.
Public Affairs Staff

BRISTOL, R.I. – When the inventors of a cutting-edge wave energy technology needed help to take their concept to beta-testing for a chance at $1.5 million in funding, they turned to the experts at RWU’s School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation.

Master of Architecture student, Andy Cole, worked with the Sea Potential team via Tinker Bristol to design a scale model of the DUO Wave Energy Converter, which was recently named a finalist competing for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) prize in alternative energy sourcing.

“I helped them redesign some of the linkage, reduce the drag, reduce the friction loss – basically, putting together the drawing package that we were then able to send out and get quotes for,” Cole said. “The experience of working with clients outside of the (architecture) school is by far the best experience you can get. Being able to talk to the client and know what they want while you’re working on a project for school credit is great.”

With a final design completed, the SEA Potential team assembled the DUO prototype at HawkWorks, the University’s 5,600-square-foot fabrication facility, before the apparatus shipped off for testing in the DOE competition in September. The first-place winner will be announced in November.