Moore's Lobby Podcast

Ep. 17 | The Maiden Voyage of Virgin Hyperloop with CTO Josh Giegel

Episode #17 / 45:18 / February 04, 2021 by Dave Finch
Episode Sponsors: Rohde & SchwarzFuture Electronics

If you think hyperloops are still science fiction, you haven't met Josh Giegel, one of the first "hypernauts" in the world.

As CTO and co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop, Giegel is a mechanical engineer, former aerospace researcher, and a transportation revolutionary.

Hyperloop transportation has always been a bombastic proposal. Virgin Hyperloop aims to provide ground transportation up to 670 miles per hour. At those speeds, you could step into a hyperloop pod in New York City at noon and step out of it in Los Angeles in time for dinner five hours later, requiring 10x less energy than an airplane.

A robust hyperloop transportation infrastructure would change the way we travel forever.


A Big Thank You to This Episode's Sponsors



As Giegel puts it, being one of two of the very first "hypernauts" was something akin to a Roman architect standing underneath an arch he designed. He put his very life into the hands of the engineers he leads, trusting them to hurl him 500 meters in 15 seconds—the initial test of Virgin Hyperloop's test track. 

Hear Giegel talk about the vision behind his company's goals of creating a fully-electric, high-power, autonomous maglev system. (Spoilers: As it turns out, a hyperloop is just one of the ways their technology stands to change the transportation world.) You'll hear a fellow engineer discuss the technical elements of hyperloop creation that have long made experts think hyperloops are science fiction. 

Would you know history if you were standing in the middle of it? Learn how much closer we are to the age of the hyperloop than you probably realize.


Meet Josh Giegel

Josh Giegel has been Chief Technical Officer of Virgin Hyperloop since he co-founded the company in 2014. His career boasts work in the aerospace, automotive, and energy industries with varying specialties but a clear emphasis on thermal dynamics.



After getting his mechanical engineering bachelor's from Penn State and his master's from Stanford, Giegel began his career by working on literal rocket science (i.e., thermal management and engine design for SpaceX). He maintained that interest in aerospace with a stint at Virgin Galactic before branching into his ventures at Virgin Hyperloop. 

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    m.dowling@theengineeringc February 08, 2021

    Every engineer who is still breathing today, realizes that the Hyperloop is a 100 year old design. The reason why it was abandoned is the same reason it should be abandoned today. It can’t be done, it would be extremely dangerous and is a total waste of money. Give me the $billion. At least I will make something that would be useful.

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    m.dowling@theengineeringc February 08, 2021

    Sorry, is this guy being interviewed a salesman or an engineer?  Nothing he mentions addresses any of the problems initiated by having a 100 km long vacuum tube.

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