NUI Galway Graduate Among Team Members to Unveil New Hyperloop Pod Prototype

Colm O’Rourkeat the recent unveiling the first ever MIT Hyperloop Pod
Jun 09 2016 Posted: 10:24 IST

An NUI Galway graduate, Colm O’Rourke, was part of a team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which recently unveiled the first ever MIT Hyperloop Pod.

Colm, originally from Walsh Island in County Offaly is a Bachelor of Engineering graduate from NUI Galway. Colm leads the electronics section of the MIT team, which includes everything from sensors, micro-controllers and batteries, to relays and actuator controllers. He also works closely with other leaders on the team who look after software, aerodynamics, structures, vehicle dynamics, levitation and business.

Hyperloop is a high-speed transportation envisioned by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors. With a projected top speed of 760 mph, the Hyperloop is poised to revolutionise transportation by moving passengers between cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco in as little as 35 minutes. Hyperloop pods will travel in evacuated tubes above the ground, diminishing the drag force of atmospheric air and enabling passenger and freight transportation at high speeds with low energy consumption.

In June 2015, SpaceX announced the first ever Hyperloop Pod Competition which comprises of a Design Competition, held in January 2016, and a Build Competition to be held in late summer 2016. Following their first place win at the design phase of the competition in Texas, the MIT team became the first team to construct their prototype. 

Colm said: “Regardless of what Hyperloop becomes, I've already benefited so much from taking part. Although it is important to develop new theory, implementing that theory effectively is equally important and that is what makes an engineering project successful. It’s about the fusion of theory and practice. Seeing this project go from ideas on a chalk board a few months ago, to an assembled prototype is just really special. My undergraduate degree in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway exposed me to a wide range of fields - everything from thermodynamics to power electronics. The Hyperloop project built on that, as now I work with experts in aerodynamics, system dynamics, software and even business.”


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