Menu

VCU clears first hurdle for 2019 Hyperloop competition

The Hyperloop at VCU student team, seeking a return to the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition final...
The Hyperloop at VCU student team, seeking a return to the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition finals, will submit a final design package this winter. (Photo courtesy of VCU College of Engineering)

The student team, seeking a return to SpaceX, will submit a final design package this winter.

The Hyperloop at VCU student team, which reached the 2018 SpaceX Hyperloop finals, has advanced past the first stage of the 2019 competition.

“We started our design right after the last competition,” said Arthur Chadwick, president of Hyperloop at VCU and a student in the Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering. “It’s great seeing all the hard work from the team members pay off.”

SpaceX, which is proposing Hyperloop as a transit solution for the future, is hosting the fourth international contest to design and build a pod vehicle that can race at high speeds through a futuristic tunnel.

Based on the preliminary design briefing the VCU team entered this fall, SpaceX has notified the group that it has moved on to the next round and can submit a final design package this winter. The finalists will be invited to compete next summer. The competition will be judged on one criterion: maximum speed. All pod vehicles must be self-propelled and able to come to a stop without crashing.

Hyperloop at VCU began in September 2017 with more than 40 undergraduate students from engineering, business, arts and humanities and sciences. Ten months later, the VCU team was one of only 20 finalists — and one of just nine from the United States — to advance to the 2018 Hyperloop finals at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The VCU team showcased its pod vehicle and completed many qualifications and tests at the final event.