Purdue’s Hyperloop team to compete in weekend SpaceX event

Purdue's Hyperloop team

1/25/2017 |

Purdue University’s Hyperloop team is preparing for a SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.

Beginning Friday (Jan. 27), the team’s Hyperloop pod will compete at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, against mostly student-led teams from universities in the U.S. and other countries.

The competition runs through Sunday (Jan. 29) when winners are announced.

Richard Brookes, project manager of the Hyperloop team, says the ambitious project has become a learning tool for the students involved.

“A lot of people that I consider very good engineers have told me this is never going to work and it’s crazy,” Brookes says. “So hopefully, at the end of this competition, I think people will look at it a little differently.”

While the project leans mostly toward students studying mechanical engineering and aeronautical engineering, Purdue’s Hyperloop team has involved up to 160 members majoring in fields ranging from communications and engineering to physics and computer science.

Up to 10 faculty members have helped guide Hyperloop team members in the pod building.

The Purdue team advanced though a Hyperloop design competition at Texas A&M in January 2016, qualifying the team for this weekend’s competition.

In 2013, SpaceX announced the concept for the Hyperloop system, a transportation tube that might whisk commuters from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes. The system would employ a nearly airless tunnel housing passenger capsules that would ride on cushions of air while being propelled at roughly the speed of sound – and at a cost far less than a proposed high-speed rail project.

– Brian L. Huchel, http://bit.ly/2jeG2PM

Above: Purdue Hyperloop team members pose in the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering with the Hyperloop pod constructed for the upcoming SpaceX Hyperloop competition in California. (Photo/Purdue Hyperloop Team)