Haute 100: MIT Wins Big at SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition

Elon Musk

Over the weekend, engineering’s brightest minds gathered together under one roof to present their design concepts of a functional Hyperloop prototype. Of the students who participated, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) team was awarded the top prize, and will continue on to build an actual pod to race on the upcoming track near SpaceX’s Hawthorne, Calif. headquarters.

In addition to MIT, the following four teams who were selected for the best design and build category are:

  • 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

There were more than 115 student engineering teams, who represented 27 U.S. states and 20 countries at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Each team presented their plans for the overall pod design 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.

After the winners were announced, Michael K. Young, president of Texas A&M, congratulated the victors. He said, “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. 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.”

Haute 100 lister Elon Musk, who is the CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla Motors, made a surprise appearance. Musk gave a quick pep talks, once the winners were selected. He said, “I think the work you guys are doing is going to blow people’s minds.” Musk also encouraged winners to do a lot of thorough test runs with their pod as close to the next competition as possible.

The next phase of the competition will take place this summer.

Photo via Texas A&M University