With all of the clamor surrounding the Hyperloop, Machine Design wanted to finally sit down and chat with one of the teams in the SpaceX competition. We got a chance to talk with:
Thierry Marin-Martinod, vice president of engineering and chief technical officer of TE Connectivity’s Aerospace, Defense and Marine division, who has sponsored and helped the rLoop team. An electrical system engineer, he has 30 years of professional experience in the aerospace industry, where he has led the development and commercialization of several technical innovations. Marin-Martinod has an aerospace engineering degree from Ecole Superieure des Techniques Aeronautiques et de Constructions Automobiles in France. He has 37 patents, primarily in the aerospace industry.
Brent Lessard, project manager of rLoop. Growing up in Toronto, Canada, Lessard had a very diverse education. He eventually studied Motorcycle Mechanics at Centennial College but wanted something more challenging, so he enrolled in Mechanical Engineering at Durham College. An ardent Star Trek fan, Brent believes in the philosophy and the future espoused by Gene Roddenberry: The acquisition of wealth needs not be the driving force of humanity, but rather working to better oneself and humanity is the greatest motivator. It is this philosophy he brings as Project Manager to rLoop, an open-source and crowdsourced think tank that’s one of the finalists in the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition.
What differentiates rLoop's design from the other competitors?
The rLoop team is decentralized—all of our design and manufacturing was done by a global community of designer and engineers. Focusing on a scalable solution for the Hyperloop didn’t always lend itself to the competition, but if we were devoting the time and resources into this project, we wanted to look at providing viable and scalable solutions.