With the help of the Go Abroad Fund this summer I travelled to Los Angeles, California in the USA. I went there to take part in the 4th edition of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition as part of the University of Edinburgh Hyperloop Team (HYPED). As a part of the team alongside fellow students throughout the academic year we had designed and developed our own Hyperloop pod prototype named – The Flying Podsman.
The event in California was the culmination of months of hard work. When most of the team had arrived in LA we began work on finishing up our Pod. After this, testing week began at SpaceX facilities where our Podsman was evaluated against a series of tests. The event came to an end on competition day where the best teams got to perform a full-scale test of their prototypes. Unfortunately HYPED didn’t get that far.
My biggest worry before I left was the culinary culture in LA and how well our prototype would fair at the competition. LA was very different from what I expected it to be, but it in a positive way. I needn’t have worried about the food because in the end I easily managed to eat healthy.
This experience abroad has taught me a lot, not only from a technical perspective but from a cultural one as well. Working on our prototype in LA, seeing pods by other student teams as well as touring SpaceX facilities has given me new insight into engineering and technology. From a cultural perspective it was interesting to see the large range of diversity amongst the people of LA.