Despite major advances in the science of pipeline transient analysis, design for unsteady flow remains largely an art. In this paper, a fast, simple, yet effective technique for valve-motion synthesis is developed and applied. Specifically, this method, called quick stroking (QS), is presented in general and as a BASIC computer program for execution on widely available personal computers. The ... [Show full abstract] method is also applied to several single pipe example problems, including cases with high or low pipe friction, and upstream or downstream valve locations. These case studies show the QS procedure to be a fast and simple method of synthesizing time-optimal valve motions. As a result, the quick-stroking procedure should become a welcome weapon in the hydraulic engineer's fight against unwanted waterhammer.