Putting your studies on hold for a year to work on an innovative project: the means of transport of the future. Lanke Yin, Industrial Design student at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) , eagerly accepted this challenge. “Being part of Delft Hyperloop is the perfect way to put the knowledge I acquired during the first two years of my studies into practice and to gain experience in a professional work environment. It makes my studies more valuable.”
Lanke works on the hyperloop, the means of transport of the future, together with about forty other students from various programmes within TU Delft. “We look beyond the actual pod moving through the pressurised tube.” Not only the technical feasibility is considered, the human aspect is as well. “Technological innovations serve to help people. It is useless to create a vehicle nobody will use. Will this happen with the hyperloop? That's difficult to predict. Something may be technologically promising, but it may take a while before people accept it. To give an example: mobile phones were accepted very quickly, while Google Glass was never successful.”
I can see myself working on technological innovations in the transport sector
The hyperloop is considered a sustainable alternative to flying. Lanke: “Sustainability is very important to me. It started when I was young by reducing the time I spent in the shower, and by wearing a sweater rather than turning up the thermostat. As I became older, I realised that I would not make a different by myself. This is why I like that sustainability is part of my studies. It allows me to make sustainable designs and a more active contribution to a better environment. At the same time, I also learn about the “ugly truths”. What do I mean by this? That we are not as sustainable as we all think, and that the “sustainable” label is only a marketing tool. This is all the more reason for me to commit myself to the environment.” According to the student, we can no longer avoid the topic of sustainability. This is another important reason why she works on the hyperloop. “Everyone from the team shares the same vision: working on a cleaner way to travel.”
Gaining so much practical experience during my studies is a good investment in my career
Gaining a lot of technical experience and working on her own skills; Lanke benefits greatly from the hyperloop project. “I work on the aerodynamic hood of the vehicle for the Hyperloop Pod Competition – the challenge to achieve the highest possible speed with this way of transport. The development involves various disciplines. I know about design, others know more about aerodynamics. We discuss the techniques and materials we want to use. I learn about milling and turning, working with carbon fibre, but also how to make analyses that can be used to make structured and objective decisions, as well as how to work in a team.” She works on her personal development each day. “I gain so much practical experience. When I go back to my studies, I hope to absorb the theoretical knowledge better, which will allow me to develop into a better engineer.”
Investing in the future
Having an impact with the sustainable products and services she designs. That's what Lanke values as a future engineer. “I notice that I like the technical side and can see myself working on technological innovations within the transport sector. Electric or autonomous driving; these are all interesting topics to explore. Delft Hyperloop is a good investment in my career. How great is it to work on a very cool way to travel, to think about the means of transport of the future, and to be able to gain so much practical experience during my studies?”
Yacht is a partner of Delft Hyperloop and supports young professionals working on innovative and sustainable projects.
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Engineer Elon Musk presented the idea of a vacuum train, the hyperloop, back in 2012. Since then a joint team consisting of Musk's companies Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company have been working on the development of this new way to travel. In addition to that they introduced a Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2015, which challenges student teams and companies to build their own pod. The winner is the team that manages to achieve the highest speed on a 1.2-kilometre track.
Delft Hyperloop is a team of forty motivated students attending the University of Technology of Delft (TU Delft) who study the feasibility of the hyperloop system and create a pod to participate in the competition during a six-month period. The current team already passed the first tests and is selected for the final round this summer in Los Angeles, USA.