Testimonial Delft Hyperloop

Since the start of my studies back in 2012, I have been drawn by the concept of DREAM teams. Being able to put your studies into practice in such a short but intense period of time, while working on the future of transportation, that’s what I wanted to do! The only barrier was my study background, namely International Business in Rotterdam. After I completed my BSc, I wanted to switch to a more technical MSc, and found the study Transportation, Infrastructure & Logistics at the faculty of TPM, CiTG, and 3ME. The last few years at the TU Delft have really increased my enthusiasm about working on the next big thing in transportation, so luckily, in 2016 the Hyperloop project came to life!

The Hyperloop is a futuristic high-speed transportation system that uses lightweight pods that travel through near-vacuum tubes to move people or cargo with over 1000 km/h from A to B. The Hyperloop offers the speed of airplanes and the convenience of trains, while using 3.5 times less energy than planes. Most importantly, the Hyperloop does not rely on environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels such as kerosene. It is therefore a direct competitor of continental air traffic. The Hyperloop is an idea from SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has launched the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition for students all over the world, to forward the concept. The challenge: design and build the fastest Hyperloop Pod you can within 1 year.

Over a year ago, a team to represent the TU Delft was being put together to enter this competition, which will be held in July 2018. As a former business student and current engineering student, I was eager to join this team as Chief Partnerships. I was admitted to the team, and my responsibility would be to acquire and manage industry and university partners providing the team with materials, financial means, software packages, tools, expertise, and much more. The combination of using my business background in contacting the many companies and using my engineering knowledge to talk about what we needed as a team was the most fun for me. I had the opportunity to speak to many companies and together think about what we could mean for one another.

On top of that, we thought extensively about the ‘full Hyperloop’ concept, i.e. its implementation in today’s political and economic society. TPM courses such as Transport Policy and Supply Chain Engineering came to good use here, as they provided me with an understanding of political perspectives on transportation solutions.

We have been lucky to have a successful year thus far. I have learned a lot from working with partners as well as working together in an incredibly driven team of engineers. The only thing still left to do is win the competition on the 22nd of July: Fingers crossed!

Thymo Vlot