Inventing a Tunnel Boring Machine that reduces tunnel’s construction process in both financial and time aspects, is a challenge that has been launched by Multi-billionaire Elon Musk.
While a team of students from Warwick University, supporting by Bechtel, are flying the flag for engineering in the UK after making the final of the global competition, the number of entries for this challenge has been decreased from 400 international entries down to a dozen finalists by its host Musk’s The Boring Company.
The UK team’s competitors are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Technical University of Munich and they are going to travel to Nevada later this year with their secret prototype to compete in a test drive against these rivals.
Musk’s contest aims to revolutionize tunneling methods so developed smart and efficient infrastructure like Hyperloop and Loop for electric vehicles or pods are more cost-effective.
The Warwick team, which is comprised of thirty sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics students, have been operating on the project for about a year, and this team has been funded with almost £10,000 for design and build of their prototype by Bechtel.
John Williams, Bechtel’s UK & Ireland Managing Director said: “There is no better investment than encouraging our next generation of engineers to challenge old ways of thinking and doing.”
He also added: “The Warwick Boring Team is smart, innovative, and driven. They aspire to make a positive impact on the world. We’re excited to see how they have approached this far-from-boring construction activity, and the impact the competition ideas could have on the future delivery of infrastructure projects.”
In order to present their prototype named Silk-Worm 1, in the final the Warwick team will excavate a 30m long and 50cm wide tunnel as quickly and accurately as possible.
Grouping this competition into three winning categories, involving: the fastest to finish the tunnel, the fastest to complete the tunnel and a driving surface through which a remote-controlled Tesla will drive, and the most exact guidance system that keeps the tunnel on target, will be done due to making the contest more exciting and stimulate the imagination of the participants.