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From Pittsburgh to Columbus in 15 Minutes

March 13, 2017

By Lacey Kazior

Imagine it taking only 15 minutes to get from Pittsburgh, PA to Columbus, OH (185 miles away and typically about a 3 hour drive).  That’s less time than it takes you to read through your morning newspaper, less time than it takes you to get ready for work, less time than it takes you to make dinner… So you could be in an entirely different state before you even finished watching an episode of your favorite TV show.  So… great fantasy right?

Wrong – this is actually a work in progress, and it’s projected to become a reality in as little as 5 years!  They call it the Hyperloop, and it works on a rather simple principle – sharply reduce the drag on a moving vehicle. Using pods (the Jetson’s cartoon may not have been too farfetched after all) capable of shipping freight or holding up to 40 people, a quick jolt of magnetic energy, and a tube with air pressure of 1/1000th the normal rate, your travel time becomes 15-30% faster than traveling on a jet!  This could really open up your job options by making commute time a non-issue. 

Of course, with such an enticing concept, Carnegie Mellon University had to get involved.  A CMU team recently competed January 27th – 29th in the 30 team SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in Hawthorne, California.  The competition requires each team to design a half-scale pod to operate inside a 1.5-mile vacuum tube at speeds of 220mph with hopeful future expectations of 700mph.  CMU’s team has also already qualified for the next round of competition known as Hyperloop 2.0.

We thought riding in autonomous cars was a little off the wall – here’s to the future!

Given the prospect of a vehicle transporting people at a rate of 700mph, undoubtedly engineers have to be sure they have accounted for any possible risks or problems that could arise.  Before we start riding around at hyper-speed, I'd like to know there is a strong group of problem-solvers behind the Hyperloop technology that's sending me flying into Columbus.  Whether you're helping design a transportation device, working through a difficult algorithm, or trying to determine the best method to accomplish your goal, your problem solving skills are of the upmost importance.  On March 28th, 2017, Catalyst Connection is offering a Practical Problem Solving Training course in which a Catalyst Connection consultant will work with you to develop the skill sets essential to practical problem solving. The course involves applying the training by assigning a real life problem to be solved by your staff.  Utilizing the tools from this training, companies report seeing reoccurring problems eliminated, reduced costs, and a highly effective and engaged workforce.  For more information or to register for this training course, visit: http://www.catalystconnection.org/trainings/detail.php?24

For more information on the Hyperloop initiative, please visit: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2017/01/11/Travel-from-Pittsburgh-to-Columbus-Ohio-in-15-minutes/stories/201701110085

To see the results of the recent Hyperloop competition, visit: http://www.geekwire.com/2017/elon-musk-hyperloop-tunnel-spacex/

 

About Catalyst Connection

Based in Pittsburgh, Catalyst Connection is an economic development organization dedicated to helping small manufacturers in improve their competitive performance. Catalyst advisors, consultants, and instructors offer training, consulting and administer financial programs that can provide funding for equipment, machinery, or capital improvements. As a nonprofit 501 (c)3 firm, the organization has been supporting Southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers for more than 25 years. For more information call 1-888-887-7472 or go to www.catalystconnection.org.

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