European Hyperloop Week comes to Edinburgh

Pod Ness at European Hyperloop Week
Pod Ness at European Hyperloop Week

The University of Edinburgh has played host to an international event dedicated to Hyperloop – a potentially revolutionary new form of transport, which could change the way we travel.

Sustainable speed

Dubbed the transport of the future, Hyperloop is an ultra-high-speed transportation system in which passengers and cargo would be transported in cylindrical pods travelling at around 600-700 miles per hour.

The system is designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and increase fuel efficiency, creating an environmentally friendlier alternative to current transport systems. Pods magnetically levitate slightly above a track and glide without the slowing effects of friction as they travel through near-vacuum tubes.

According to UK government figures, transport is the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gas emissions, producing almost a quarter of the UK’s total emissions in 2020.

International gathering

The University of Edinburgh’s Hyperloop student team – HYPED – is now part of an international movement working to bring Hyperloop closer to reality.

Between 17-23 July 2023, Edinburgh students hosted European Hyperloop Week (EHW) at the Nucleus on the King’s Buildings campus, where 24 top international student Hyperloop teams gathered from countries including India, America, Norway and Turkey. Edinburgh students co-founded the event with other European university teams including Delft Hyperloop, Swissloop and Hyperloop UPV.

The annual gathering brings those working on the technology together to compete, network and share ideas. The week included a demonstration day on Saturday 22 July 2023, where the teams presented their latest pod prototypes and tested them on specially built tracks installed on campus.

HYPED’s new prototype was named Pod Ness, in honour of the Loch Ness monster.

The week ended with a public outreach day on the Mound, on Sunday 23 July 2023, where the teams talked to visitors of all ages about the potential of Hyperloop, and the benefits of studying STEM subjects.

Innovation through collaboration

Gregory Dayao, President of HYPED, said:

“I commend the team for their hard work they have put in leading up to EHW. In addition to presenting their latest research paper and technical prototype, the team networked with other student teams and industry representatives by sharing ideas of the future of the transport. EHW is meant to foster innovation through collaboration, and the team is high-spirited after a week which brought their minds together to shape plans for the next season.”

Head of the School of Engineering, Professor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh said:

“The School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh was very proud to host European Hyperloop Week this year and would like to congratulate our own HYPED team for how well they did in the competitions. It was fantastic to see such an array of futuristic hardware, engineering, scientific and business skills on display from students in 20 countries across the globe.

“We thank all the competitors for coming to spend the week (and more) at the University’s King’s Buildings and I would like to express my particular thanks to all the students and staff of the College of Science and Engineering who volunteered to help organise the event. Everyone had a great time and we are looking forward to next year already.”


Awards were presented to participating teams for the best prototype pods, for aspects including mechanics, traction and guiding, sensing, controls and electrical systems – and overall awards recognising work on the technical and socio-economic aspects of the Hyperloop project.

Pod Ness was a top four finalist in awards for electrical subsystems, and a full-scale award for technical contributions to the advancement of Hyperloop. In the latter category, the Edinburgh team were commended for their study on the integration and performance of vacuum pumps and airlocks in a Hyperloop system.

View award results in full below.


Edinburgh’s HYPED team is one of the leading university teams developing Hyperloop technology in the UK. It provides a testing ground for students to tackle the technical challenges of building a functioning Hyperloop pod from scratch. After constructing their first pod prototype in 2017, HYPED has grown into a thriving and diverse society of around 130 students from across the University including engineers, physicists, mathematics and computer scientists.

They also recently built the UK’s first Hyperloop test track at the University of Edinburgh’s King’s Buildings – a 100-metre-long aluminium rail, which will allow them to test and improve their prototype pod designs before future competitions.

The team runs regular outreach events to inspire school children and the members of the public about Hyperloop technology, and STEM subjects more widely.

European Hyperloop Week: Awards in full

  • Mechanical Subsystem Award
    • Winner – Delft Hyperloop
    • Electrical Subsystem Award Winner – Swissloop HYPED as Top four finalist (Pod Ness)
  • Sense and Control Subsystem Award
    • Winner – Swissloop
    • HYPED – Top six finalist (Pod Ness)
  • Traction Subsystem Award
    • Winner – Swissloop
  • Guiding Subsystem Award
    • Winner – mu-zero Hyperloop
  • Complete System Award
    • Winner – Swissloop
  • Full-Scale Award – Technical Aspects of Hyperloop Systems
    • Winner – Delft Hyperloop
    • HYPED – Top four finalist for their research paper on the integration and performance of vacuum pumps and airlocks in a Hyperloop system
  • Full-Scale Award – Socio-Economic Aspects of Hyperloop Development
    • Winner – Delft Hyperloop

Find out more