Faster than a speeding bullet . . . more powerful than a locomotive

It’s 2016 and no one has discovered time travel yet, but Samuel Ginn College of Engineering students may have us traveling 760 miles per hour in the near future. Entrepreneur Elon Musk, known for his success with PayPal, Tesla Motors and most recently SpaceX, held an open competition in January for university students and engineering teams to design and build for his idea, the Hyperloop.

The Hyperloop is a conceptual high-speed transportation system that consists of a pod in a low-pressure tube, allowing for travel speeds of up to 760 miles per hour. Musk’s proposed model would make commutes between San Francisco and Los Angeles cheaper and more efficient than driving or flying, and has the potential for global use.

The Auburn Hyperloop team, led by mechanical engineering students Addison Baitcher and Alexander Thompson, competed in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend at Texas A&M University and won two top awards: best overall subsystem in the subsystem design category and the design concept innovation award in the design only category.

Captains Baitcher and Thompson recruited approximately 50 students to join their team, with each department in the college represented. Mechanical engineering associate professor Rick Williams served as the faculty sponsor.

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