VIDEO: St. Clair College and UWindsor Partner for Future of Transportation
Students from the University of Windsor and St. Clair College are teaming up to help develop cutting edge technology on the world stage.
The Hyperloop Pod Competition is hosted by rocket and spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX — fronted by tech giant Elon Musk.
Only 21 teams from around the world are invited to Hawthorne, California to prove a scaled down prototype vehicle, and possibly find a place in history should that tech become a reality.
Hyperloop technology uses electric propulsion in a low-pressure tube to propel a pod at speeds over 1,000 km/h. The pod levitates on a track and the goal is to create the fastest transit network in the world.
The challenge for uWinLoop and SCCLoops is for that prototype to hit max speed and stop within 100-ft of the end of SpaceX’s vacuum test track.
Fourth year Electrical Engineering and Computer Science student, Michael Thamm says its the first time both schools have stepped out on the world stage with Hyperloop technology.
"We're kind of considered the underdogs. Other teams have kind of have their imprint on the competition and we're just looking to make ours," he says.
Thamm says the team's pod only exists in theory, they still have to assemble parts that you wouldn't see in everyday machinery.
"A lot of companies in Windsor are actually very supportive of us and are donating in kind, things that we have no chance of doing ourselves. That definitely helps," he says.
St. Clair College CAD Professor, Ivan Canjar says the invitation shows what Windsor has to offer.
"We were kind of shocked that [the University of Waterloo] didn't make the cut, they're an engineering powerhouse in Ontario," he says. "It speaks highly of the University of Windsor and St. Clair College that our students are capable of producing this kind of engineering design."
Canjar says the competition is more than a learning experience, it can put budding engineers on Space-X's radar.
"One of the Space-X requirements for this was for students to submit a resume, so there's a big push right there for the students to get excited because now the entire world is being electrified right now," added Canjar.
The team hopes to have a working prototype ready for testing in May to maximize the testing phase.
They're looking to raise more than $87,000 through sponsorships and a GoFundMe page.
The competition is later this summer.