As global interest in Hyperloop increases, the University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer and the University of Oldenburg are able to implement their plans to establish a research and technology centre for the advancement of their ‘HyperPodX’ project. The Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxon granted an initial funding of 290.000 euros.

This funding will be used to set up an office that will coordinate the establishment of a European research network and the submission of an EU application over the next three years. The goal is to bundle the already existing knowledge of Hyperloop technology across Europe and check whether reactivating the former Transrapid test facility in Lathen (Emsland, Germany) is feasible. With the initiation of the so-called “European HyperLoop Technology Center” (EUHyTeC), one can occupy a leading position in Europe- and nationwide, according to Prof. Dr. Walter Neu, who, together with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Schüning oversee the project.

In the past few years, a changing student team from the University of Applied Science Emden/Leer and the University of Oldenburg travelled to California to take part in the international Hyperloop Pod Competition – twice reaching the finals. The competition revolves around realising Elon Musk’s vision: the development of a transportation system that will one day transport passengers at the speed of sound through a near-vacuum environment.

The Hyperloop developers from northern Germany are breaking new ground this year and not in the USA, but on their own doorstep. “The Transrapid test facility in Lathen offers unique testing conditions”, explains Schüning. In Emden and Oldenburg they are excited to continue working on the HyperPodX project. According to Neu, discussions are underway with the city and industrial partners to implement a 500 meter test track near the university. This is “allowing the start of the development to take place here and then used for further research in Lathen”, according to the professors.

With the support of the ministry, an office can now be established that is divided between two employees. Lukas Eschment, a master student in Engineering Physics and a long-time member of the HyperPodX team, will primarily deal with the technical side of the project. Phillip Zürn, who is completing his master’s degree in Management Consulting this month and also comes from the former student team, will focus on economic and organizational matters.

Many contacts with European partners, institutes and companies already exist because of participation in the Hyperloop Pod Competition over the past years. The new network already includes the DLR Institute of Transportation Systems (Braunschweig), Rosen Technology and Research (Lingen), the HAVO Neuenhauser Group, the DLR Institute for Transportation Research (Berlin), Bernhard Krone Holding (Werlte), Siemens (Bremen) and INTIS, the operator of the test track in Lathen. The coordinators will now expand the network to get the project off the ground. The municipality Lathen, the district of Emsland and the state of Lower Saxony support the project on a political level.

By HyperPodX, December 2019

Caption (from left): Prof. Dr. Walter Neu, the new employees Lukas Eschment and Philip Zürn and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Schüning are looking forward to the new challenge.


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