Mariana Avezum Munich to Berlin at Speed of Sound

A team of technology students from Munich’s Technical University was among the winners of the Hyperloop pod competition called by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk at his SpaceX headquarters.
Ms. Avezum (pictured right) graduated from the Technical University of Munich in 2014 and has been leading the WARR Hyperloop project for two years. Picture source: TU Munich.

Elon Musk’s plans for a super-fast Hyperloop pod will get help from a young female computer science graduate from Brazil and a top German university.

Mariana Avezum, 26, is leading a 36-strong team of students within Munich’s Technical University. The group was one of two winners of the Hyperloop pod competition last weekend in Hawthorne, California.

Mr. Musk, a billionnaire technology entrepreneur who heads the Tesla electric car manufacturer and the SpaceX space company, had invited 27 teams from all over the world to the SpaceX headquarters.

In 2011, Mr. Musk developed the idea for a Hyperloop pod as a means of transport. The idea is to create capsules travel at a speed just below the sound barrier – 1,234 km per hour or 767 mph. Since Mr. Musk is already very busy with his other ventures, he made his concept public and organized a competition for the best pod design.

The Delft Hyperloop team of Delft University in the Netherlands got the highest overall score. But Ms. Avezum’s team, WARR Hyperloop, secured the highest speed award. Their pod was fired at a top speed of 58 mph through the 0.75-mile (1.25-km) test tube built by SpaceX.

In the summer, WARR will have the opportunity to defend its title: Mr. Musk has called a new competition, which will be only about speed this time.