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Semi-Finals for Hyperloop design competition Kick Off

September 27, 2016

Dubai Future Foundation announced the beginning of the semi-finals of Dubai’s Hyperloop Design Competition, which will be taking place in Dubai in the first week of October.

The 65 finalists – shortlisted out of a pool of 250 applicants – were selected from international universities and specialized engineering firms from 26 countries around the world.

The goal of the competition is to design a Hyperloop prototype that will reduce travel time between Dubai and Fujairah to less than 10 minutes. Furthermore, the Foundation revealed the names of the members of the judging committee, who will evaluate the entries – based on technical and economic criteria – in both the semi-final and final stages of the competition.

Commenting on the event, H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and member of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation, confirmed that the Dubai’s Hyperloop Design Competition constitutes a global platform for shaping the future of the transportation sector, gathering the brightest minds from all around the world to invent avant-garde solutions capable of transforming transportation as we know it. The innovations put forth in the competition also stand to affect the economy and the labor market, as well as the shipping and logistics sector, as they will enable the high-speed movement of people and goods over long distances and in record times.

HE Mattar Al Tayer added: “Despite the short notice period, Dubai’s Hyperloop Station Design Competition managed to attract more than 250 participations from 26 countries, including internationally renowned names in the academic sector, in addition to some of the largest design firms in the world.

“The selection of a judging panel made up of top-ranking experts and specialists in the most advanced technologies reflects the Foundation’s seriousness about adopting only the most original of ideas, and to later turn them into feasible projects that will create a better future for the generations to come.”

Meanwhile, Tony Ryan, CEO of Asite (one of the companies organizing the event), said: “Working with Dubai Future Foundation took the project to new heights and the results exceeded all plans and expectations. We credit this achievement to the visionary leadership of the UAE government and its spectrum of promising future-oriented strategies.”

Innovations from All Corners of the Globe

The entries sent to the BuildEarthLive Hyperloop Design Competition exceeded 250 applications, pouring in from more than 26 countries, including Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Latvia, Northern Ireland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine
Sixty-five teams made it to the semi-finals, where they will be competing to present the most innovative projects in the field of Hyperloop in order to qualify for the finals. Only six teams will compete in the final stage, presenting their designs to the expert panel of judges in Dubai.

Semi-finalists came from major local, Arab, and international universities, including the University of Ajman and the American University of Sharjah in the UAE, in addition to entries from Cairo University, Egypt; Heriot-Watt University, Scotland (UK); Istanbul Technical University, Turkey; The University of Tokyo, Japan; the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland (UK); and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA).

As for entries coming from companies, the competition attracted applications from some of the top engineering firms in the world, including AECOM Consulting Engineers – Global, Gensler Architecture Inc. – Global, and ARCADIS Consulting – Global, in addition to an application from a Planning and Design Manager from the Palace of Westminster – the meeting quarters of the House of Commons and House of Lords of the United Kingdom.

Dubai’s Hyperloop Design Competition garnered positive and impressive interaction from followers on the microblogging site Twitter, where the hashtag dedicated to the competition received more than 400,000 views during the first three hours of its launch.

Dubai Future Foundation will host the final stage of the competition, where six teams will present live demonstrations of their designs in front of the judges during the first week of October.

Top-Tier Judging Panel

The judging panel will be evaluating designs based on their efficiency, cost and feasibility. The committee is made up of experts and specialists from the world’s largest information technology companies, in addition to representatives from local and international government agencies taking part in the contest – including experts from government institutions and companies in Dubai and the rest of the UAE, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Representing the United States on the judging panel is Nathan Doughty, Asite Group COO; and Colin Rhys, Director of Experience Design at Hyperloop One. Doughty boasts extensive experience in cloud solutions for construction stretching back 18 years. He spent 6 years on the board of BuildingSMART, and was closely involved in the development of the IFC standard. Rhys, meanwhile, has won several national and international awards in the span of his long career.
Joining from the UK are architects George Mokhtar, Associate Director at Turner & Townsend‘s International, and Paul Beaty-Pownall, Director at BPR Architects. Mokhtar has previously worked as for BIM Academy and as a lecturer at Northumbria University.

Mokhtar is an Associate Director at T&T and his past working for BIM Academy and as a lecturer at Northumbria University means that he has a wide range of experience making him perfect for the role. Meanwhile, Paul Beaty-Pownall, whose knowledge in large scale urban design and railway station architecture contributed to the rapid growth of BPR Architects, is the author of the new TfL Overground Station Design Idiom and is a renowned expert when it comes to understanding the future of station design.

Representing the UAE on the judging committee is Muna Alosaimi, Director of Rail Planning and Projects Development at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and the first female railway engineer in the country; as well as Mark Andrews OBE, Managing Director at Laing O’ Rourke, who graduated in civil engineering from Imperial College London, on top of earning an MBA from Cranfield business school in London, and being a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Chartered Institute of Management.