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Engineering department designs Hyperloop

A team of engineering students, called Codex, competed in the SpaceX Hyperloop competition last weekend, and earned the opportunity to compete in the finals in Hawthorne, California this July.

Codex member AJ Troche said it’s “the largest event in transportation history.”

Seventy-five teams from around the world competed in three categories at Texas A&M University. Twenty-two teams were selected for the final level of competition at SpaceX headquarters.

A sketch of the work going into the SpaceX Hyperloop by an ORU team of engineers.
A sketch of the work going into the SpaceX Hyperloop by an ORU team of engineers. Photo by Wyatt Bullard.

The Hyperloop is a proposed transportation system consisting of a pod moving at the speed of sound (767 mph) through a vacuum-sealed tube.

It could traverse from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes—less than half the time it takes by plane. The pod would levitate by motors using magnetism to reduce friction and other impeding variables.

The original proposal, drafted by Elon Musk, was budgeted at more than $60,000, but Codex’s pod will cost $35,000, nearly half the original cost.

The team has four months to build a working model and is already con- necting with local companies willing to donate materials and services toward the project.

A few things set Codex above the other teams in the pod design category. The levitation engines Braun created

for the pod are stronger and more cost-effective than similar products currently available.

“Another unique aspect of our design was our awareness of the future application,” said Luke Waite of Codex.

The design includes adaptations for scalability, ensuring the prototype will be effective in testable and full size models.

Codex’s aerodynamic airfoil pod design will streamline the prototype.

The eight-member team is the smallest team at the Texas competition, but it is looking for more members.

“We have some great engineers on the school board giving us advice, but what we need most is student’s willing to join our team,” said Codex captain Brandon Braun.

Codex is looking for students with skills in business management, market- ing, media and public relations—particularly fundraising.

Students interested in joining the team should explain why they are interested in the competition, what primary skill sets they can offer and in what projects or areas they have applied these skills by sending an email with an attached resume to codexhyperloop@

Story by Christen Latini, Photos by Wyatt Bullard

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