Discovering Hyperlink and the Future of Transporation

By Teen Blogger: Nina
Social Media Link: @carolinaatani

Everybody says that rejection is just a steppingstone to success. Turns out, they are right. Certainly in the case of Hyperlink, a high tech new student Society involved in the Hyperloop technology.

In 2019, Marcin Bielicki currently a 3rd year Mechanical Engineering student at Queen Mary, wanted to join the Formula 1 Society (community of students) at his university. However, his application was denied. Instead of letting this affect him, Marcin said: “if you don’t want me, I’ll start something else on my own”. His goal? To give students a chance to showcase the skills they worked hard at in an interesting and relevant project: “Students need a way to apply their studies and knowledge to real-life projects”.

A year later, Hyperlink was born: a student-led society made of over 70 students from universities all over London who work together to develop the future of transportation by creating the city’s first Hyperloop pod. TalksforTeens spoke to Marcin about his fascinating project.

Marcin Bielicki, president of Hyperlink

First off, what does Hyperlink, and Hyperloop mean? Hyperloop is a technology - invented by Elon Musk in 2013, allowing ultra-high-speed ground transportation for people and freight by pushing a train or pod through a vacuum-like tube with magnetic propulsion. Basically, Marcin explains “with this system we will be able to enormously increase travel speed while reducing energy consumption and CO2 emission.” The hyperloop can travel at speeds of 760mph, which is 15% faster than a plane. The travel distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco, for example, could be reduced to 35 minutes.

Hyperlink, on the other hand, is the name that Marcin came up with for his society: “I wanted something cool, that members would be excited and proud to be part of”. Marcin’s team is now working to build London’s first Hyperloop Pod - their own functioning prototype. To achieve this goal, Hyperlink now has 11 student Engineering, Research, and Operations teams, each working diligently on a specific part of the structure and the project (such as propulsion, braking, structures, electronics, partnerships, marketing and more).

This project takes place after classes; students work during their free time and are not paid. “We all need some balance and not only focus on course-work” says Marcin. “This project can make you stand out when writing your resumé and provides a great opportunity to apply your skills, plus, Hyperlink is just cool!” And he is right. The Hyperloop technology will redefine transportation as we know it and is a new and young industry full of potential. Marcin explains how there are only around 20 companies worldwide developing this technology commercially and most of them started out as teams made of hard-working students, just like his.

Marcin talks with excitement about the European Hyperloop Week, a yearly event – this year taking place in the Netherlands in July - that aims to bring together the wider Hyperloop community and bring the technology closer to the public. Hyperloop student societies from all over come together to showcase the progress they made during the year.

Starting the Hyperlink society in 2021 during the pandemic, with little to no help from the university, was difficult. This year Marcin has been able to get funding and some recognition from his university and Hyperlink UK will be able to participate to the Hyperloop Week this coming July. Marcin and theteam will display their prototype as well as the work their Research Team has made about how to make Hyperloop a reality. In addition, Marcin is particularly excited to share the research his Biomedical Research Team is making on how to make hyperloop safe and comfortable for people by studying magnetic shielding as well as reinventing seating. To his knowledge, Hyperlink is the only society with a Biomedical Research Team.

What’s next? After Marcin’s graduation in May 2022, Hyperlink will remain a student society at Queen Mary. “I want it to stay as a platform for students to prove themselves and build a tight community” Marcin says. He speaks highly of the team and all the hard work they are putting in the project and this should continue with a new Hyperlink president.

To anyone out there with a plan, Marcin’s advice is to “listen to yourself, not others and not let rejection bring you down. If you have an idea, don’t be scared to bring it to fruition; passion and determination will always be rewarded.”

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