November 3, 2023

About Washington Hyperloop:

Washington Hyperloop is a student-run organization. We aim to design and build a tunnel boring machine to compete at Elon Musk’s Not-a-Boring Competition [].

To complete the design, our team is organized into sub-teams, each responsible for specific components of the TBM. We are currently seeking an undergraduate or graduate student to fill an open leadership position on our Controls team.


In your role as the Controls Lead at Washington Hyperloop, you will have the responsibility of leading and executing the design, development, and deployment of control systems for the Hyperloop Tunnel Boring Machine. You will collaborate closely with cross-functional teams, which include the Structure, Cutterhead/Material Removal, and Propulsion teams, to ensure the smooth integration of control systems into the construction of the Tunnel Boring Machine. 

Scope of Work:

Sensors & Hardware Design:

  • Understanding sensor types and their applications.
  • Redundancy in sensor readings and error handling.
  • Computational power requirements for interfacing with sensors.
  • Developing high-frequency sampling systems.
  • Dealing with non-nominal sensor values.

Navigation & Control:

  • Motor and hydraulics control for robot movement.
  • Flexibility in design to accommodate changes from other teams.
  • PID control for course correction.
  • Determining off-course calculations and correction methods.

Graphical User Interface (GUI) Development

  • GUI design and development.
  • Data visualization for monitoring robot progress and key metrics.
  • Communication with the main robot for data reporting.
  • Safety features for manually halting the robot.

Cross-Device Communication

  • Understanding distributed computing systems.
  • Computational power requirements and microcontroller selection.
  • Prioritizing computational tasks.
  • Communication protocols and device selection.
  • Handling device failure and reestablishing communication.

Testing & Quality Assurance

  • Creating test systems for different robot components.
  • Handling nominal and non-nominal values in testing.
  • Error detection and avoidance of false positives.
  • Resilience testing under failure conditions.
  • Protocols for pre-run and post-run system testing


  • Ownership of Design
  • Take the lead in designing, developing, and implementing control systems for TBM manufacturing.
  • Collaboration with Sub-Teams
  • Foster collaboration with the Structures, Cutterhead/Material Removal, and Propulsion teams to ensure alignment of control systems with project and competition requirements and specifications.
  • Project Management
  • Document lessons learned and extend new improvements and best practices across projects and into new launches
  • Coordinate weekly syncs and communicate progress with the leadership 


Learn more:

Website: Washington Hyperloop

Mechanical Engineering
University of Washington