Last month the HYPED - a group of 30 students from both School of Engineering and Edinburgh College of Art - went to College Station, Texas, to compete in the Hyperloop Pod Competition organised by SpaceX and came back with the Subsystem Technical Excellence Award.
The need for a new mode of transportation occurred to Elon Musk – CEO of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX - when he was stuck in traffic between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2013. He then proposed a conceptual design of a quick, self-powering and safe train-like pod travelling at near sonic velocities in an evacuated tube. That was when the world first heard about the Hyperloop.
In order to help accelerating the development of a functional prototype on June 15th 2015 SpaceX announced an open competition, geared towards university students and independent engineering teams, to design and build the best Hyperloop pod.
The team from the University of Edinburgh, HYPED, entered the competition as one of over 1200 contestants. Following the submission of the Preliminary Design Package in November, the team was invited to participate in the Design Weekend taking place in College Station, Texas, in January. It has to be highlighted that HYPED was one of only 2 British and 11 European teams to go through.
Design Weekend gave the students a unique opportunity to present their concept in front of the judges consisting of professors from the top universities in the world and SpaceX employees, as well as to network and discuss their ideas with other students from universities like MIT, Stanford or TU Delft. The panel of judges appreciated HYPED’s creativeness of the modular design and quality of the passenger experience, rewarding the team with the Subsystem Technical Excellence Award – one out of 13 prizes.
Currently, the team is evaluating their options before taking the next step. The group has been offered to build the pod in collaboration with University of Cincinnati and compete together in the Competition Weekend in Hawthorne, California, in Summer 2016. In addition, the team is holding talks with SpaceX regarding building and presenting a full scale exhibit of the pod, highlighting their prize-winning modular design. Lastly, students remain in contact with Bibop Gresta, CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, discussing a potential link between the Edinburgh students and his Hyperloop Academy.
- SpaceX Hyperloop Official Page
- Texas A&M University
- Texas A&M University: Hyperloop competition results
- HYPED Website
- HYPED Facebook Page
- BBC News Article
- BBC Radio Segment
- Edinburgh College of Art Article
- Scotsman Article
- LaOpionion News Article
- Emito Article
- Student Newspaper: "University of Edinburgh team invited to Hyperloop design weekend"