SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend hosted by Texas A&M University was widely considered a resounding success — and not just because the Aggies had one of  the winning teams and figured prominently in the overall winning team or that SpaceX founder Elon Musk made a surprise visit  to the delight of the 1,000-plus students  participating.

The Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering Hyperloop Team

Twenty-two student teams are heading to California this summer to test their design prototype at the world’s first Hyperloop Test Track. More than 115 student engineering teams representing 27 U.S. states and 20 countries were on hand to present their plans and were judged on a variety of criteria, including innovation and uniqueness of design; full Hyperloop system applicability and economics; level of design detail; strength of supporting analysis and tests; feasibility for test tract competition; and quality of documentation and presentation.

The Texas A&M Aerospace Hyperloop Team is among those advancing.

Also, a 2014 Texas A&M graduate, John Mayo, serves as captain of the MIT team that was judged the overall winner.

“Congratulations to the finalists and all the student teams who competed in the first-ever SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “I am especially proud of Aerospace Hyperloop, a finalist representing Texas A&M University and its world-class engineering program in the next round.”

Elon Musk was a surprise visitor to the SpaceX Hyperloop competition.

“World-changing events such as this do not happen often, so to be able to say one took place at Texas A&M is truly special,” said Michael K. Young, president of Texas A&M. “It is our hope that everyone who participated uses the momentum from this historic meeting of young innovators to go out into the world and continue to create and innovate. This weekend’s competition proves the future is in very good hands with such an inspiring and talented group of young people, many of whom are right here at Texas A&M. Congratulations to all the young men and women and their teams headed to California and that certainly includes Texas A&M’s Aerospace Hyperloop team.”

“The future of engineering was on display this weekend in College Station,” said M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering. “We challenge our students to step outside their comfort zones and approach engineering problems in novel ways. The young men and women at this competition definitely accomplished that, and presented design and technical concepts that were well beyond anyone’s expectations.”

The Top 5 student teams for the design and build category were:

Best Overall Design Award
MIT Hyperloop Team, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Pod Innovation Award
Delft Hyperloop, Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)

Pod Technical Excellence Award
Badgerloop, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Pod Technical Excellence Award
Hyperloop at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech

Pod Technical Excellence Award
HyperXite, University of California Irvine

Other teams advancing to the competition weekend in California include:

rLoop (non-student team)
uWaterloo Hyperloop, University of Waterloo
UWashington Hyperloop, University of Washington
University of Toronto, University of Toronto
RUMD Loop, University of Maryland and Rutgers University
GatorLoop, University of Florida
Team HyperLynx, University of Colorado-Denver
Hyperloop UC, University of Cincinnati
USCB Hyperloop, University of California-Santa Barbara
bLoop, University of California-Berkeley
TAMU Aerospace Hyperloop, Texas A&M
WARR Hyperloop, Technical University of Munich (Germany)
Purdue Hyperloop Design Team, Purdue University
Codex, Oral Roberts University
Lehigh Hyperloop, Lehigh University
Keio Alpha, Keio University
Drexel Hyperloop, Drexel University
Carnegie Mellon Hyperloop, Carnegie-Mellon University


Technical awards were also awarded to student teams whose designs displayed outstanding technical merit in subsystem and design. Judging criteria included innovation and uniqueness of subsystem design, full Hyperloop system applicability and economics; level of design detail; strength of supporting analysis and tests; and quality of documentation and presentation.

Best Overall Subsystem Award
Auburn University Hyperloop Team, Auburn University

Special Innovation Award in the Other Subsystem
RIT Imaging, Rochester Institute of Technology

Levitation Subsystem Technical Excellence Award
TAMU Aerospace Hyperloop, Texas A&M

Braking Subsystem Technical Excellence Award
VicHyper, RMIT University

Propulsion/Compression Subsystem Technical Excellence Award
Makers UPV Team, Universitat Politència de Valencia (Spain)

Safety Subsystem Technical Excellence Award
UWashington Hyperloop, University of Washington

Subsystem Technical Excellence Award
Hyped, University of Edinburgh

Subsystem Technical Excellence Award
Conant Hyperloop Club, Conant High School (Hoffman States, Illinois)

Subsystem Innovation Award
Ryerson’s International Hyperloop Team, Ryerson University (Canada)

Design Only Awards

Top Design Concept Award
Makers UPV Team, Universitat Politència de Valencia (Spain)

Design Concept Innovation Award
Nova Hyperloop Team, University of Cairo

Design Concept Innovation Award
Auburn University Hyperloop Team, Auburn University

The Hyperloop, a high-speed ground transport concept, was first proposed by SpaceX and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk in 2013. With the Hyperloop, passengers could travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under 30 minutes, radically transforming the speed and safety of passenger mass transit.

This article was originally published by Texas A&M Today.

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Andy Acker

Vice President for Engagement-Division 1
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