This year I joined Hyped, the university’s hyperloop team. Over the past few months we worked together to design and build a fully functional hyperloop pod prototype. My focus was on the propulsion of the pod. I spent the few weeks between the end of my exams and my leaving date for SpaceX working hard to get the propulsion module completed and working in time. This required a great deal of time spent assembling parts in the hyped lab and took us right up to the shipment date.
But, we got it completed and shipped in time. The pod arrived disassembled in LA and we spent 2 weeks putting it back together and making sure everything was working before we could take it to the SpaceX factory in Hawthorne.
Competition day arrived, and the pod was fully assembled but unfortunately software issues prevented the pod from being put into the 1.25km vacuum tube at SpaceX. However, the teams hard work still paid off and we made it to the top 6 finalists of the competition. This meant that Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, came to see our pod and talk to the team about our work.
Hyped also organised tours of SpaceX, NASA JPL and a visit to the British consul’s villa. These were all great opportunities that I was able to seize thanks to funding from the Santander Award fund, without which I would not have been able to go.
My time at hyped has taught me great deals about teamwork and how fundamental communication is to the working of an engineering team. Working on the pod and taking to the competition has given me valuable insight into what it is like to work as part of an engineering team, which is where I hope to find myself after university.