Student news

Students win engineering design award

A team of University students has won an award for their innovative designs for a new form of high-speed transportation.

HYPED team

A group of thirty students from the School of Engineering and Edinburgh College of Art recently won the Subsystem Technical Excellence Award at SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition in Texas.


The idea for a new mode of high-speed transportation was envisioned by Elon Musk, CEO of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX.

He proposed a conceptual design for a self-powering, train-like pod travelling at near sonic velocities in an evacuated tube, known as the Hyperloop.

Open competition

To accelerate the development of a functional prototype, SpaceX announced an open competition in June 2015 to design and build the best Hyperloop pod.

The University team, known as HYPED, entered the competition as one of over 1200 contestants.

HYPED was one of only two British and 11 European teams to be invited to participate in the competition’s Design Weekend in Texas in January.

Unique opportunity

Design Weekend gave the students a unique opportunity to present their concept to an expert judging panel of SpaceX employees and professors from top global universities, and to network and discuss their ideas with students from other institutions.

The judging panel praised the creativeness of HYPED’s modular design and the quality of the passenger experience, rewarding the team with the Subsystem Technical Excellence Award.

Prize-winning design

The group has been offered the opportunity to build their pod in collaboration with University of Cincinnati, and compete together in the Competition Weekend in California in summer 2016.

The team is also holding talks with SpaceX regarding building a full scale exhibit of the pod, highlighting their prize-winning design.

The HYPED team remain in contact with Bibop Gresta, CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, discussing a potential link between Edinburgh students and his Hyperloop Academy.