UW-Madison’s Badgerloop, a student organization made up of mostly undergraduate engineering students who aim to determine if hyperloop—a proposed form of transportation—could become a reality, placed high and won an innovation award Sunday at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition II in Hawthorne, Calif.
The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, promoted by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, is an intercollegiate competition in which teams face off to create a Hyperloop vacuum-powered racing pod while passing various safety and technical standards.
In addition to passing the safety and technical standards, Badgerloop earned an innovation award for its propulsion system, receiving high praise from the judges, according to a university statement. This is the second time the team has won this award, making them the only team to win the award in back-to-back competitions.
“We’re very happy that our pod worked, given the challenges we faced,” Zuf Wang, team president and a graduate student in industrial engineering at UW-Madison said in the statement. “We had a relatively inexperienced team compared to the previous iteration of Badgerloop for Competition I.”
Although it is uncertain whether there will be a SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition III, Wang said the Badgerloop team will be prepared, building on the lessons they learned participating in two years’ worth of Hyperloop competitions.