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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M to host SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition

SpaceX
Photo by Courtesy
SpaceX

SpaceX, a private space exploration company, has announced that Texas A&M will host the design review phase of the Hyperloop Pod Competition in Jan. 2016.

Hyperloop is a concept developed by SpaceX for high speed ground transport, but very little technical work has been done. On Jan. 9, Students from A&M and around the world will gather in College Station and compete to design the Hyperloop.

A&M was chosen for the event because of A&M’s close proximity to one of SpaceX’s private launch sites in Brownsville, and the fact that A&M has successfully collaborated with SpaceX in the past and has been working with them over the past few months on the competition.

Magda Lagoudas, Executive Director for Industry and Nonprofit Partnerships for the College of Engineering, said A&M is also a great fit for the competition due to the environment and resources of the College Station area.

“Texas A&M University provides access to a large pool of excellent students who are highly innovative,” Lagoudas said. “We also have a great ecosystem of innovation on this campus including a vibrant local community and partnerships with other institutions to support our efforts on innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Lagoudas said the competition has groundbreaking potential.

“These technologies are a multidisciplinary effort that will require participation across all engineering majors along with other majors,” Lagoudas said. “The Hyperloop Pod, if successful, will have a number of breakthrough technologies, and students involved will be part of these exciting innovations.”

Some estimates project that the final design for the Hyperloop will involve pods that move up to 800 miles per hour. That is an unheard of speed when it comes to ground transportations and it represents a substantial design challenge.

“We are asking students to think outside of the box,” said Katherine Banks, Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering. “They will start with a blank slate and come up with ideas that have not been thought of before, with a strong foundation of engineering and science.”

Lagoudas said students from A&M and from all over the country will compete for more than glory in this competition; they will be able to make an impact.

“We are very excited about the opportunity this brings for our students to engage with a competition where they are not solving trivial problems. They are solving a problem that can transform transportation in our society,” Lagoudas said. “For a successful Hyperloop Pod design, we need innovative thinking which results in breakthrough technologies.”
The deadline to apply to the competition is Sept. 15.

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