Hyperloop One cofounder steps down from CTO role

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Brogan BamBrogan, seen here at Hyperloop One’s first public technology exam, is no longer the company’s CTO .
Image: lanceulanoff/ mashable

The future of sub-supersonic transportation simply took a hit.

Brogan BamBrogan, who launched Hyperloop One( then merely Hyperloop) in his garage in 2015 and served as Chief Technology Officer, is stepping down . “Cofounder and CTO Brogan BamBrogan has decided to take a step back from Hyperloop One. We appreciate everything that he has done to set us on the path to creating the worlds first Hyperloop, ” said a company representative in an email to Mashable on Friday . BamBrogan will remain with Hyperloop One, though it’s not clear in what capacity.

The surprising news arrives a little more than a month after Hyperloop One’s first public, and successful, technology demonstration. BamBrogan played a pivotal role in the event, which was held in the Nevada desert. He set the stage and his the purpose of explaining what the assembled press was about to see lasted many times longer than the 2-second propulsion system test.

The end of that super-fast Hyperloop One propulsion test.

Image: lance ulanoff/ mashable

Hyperloop One, which is supposed to represent the future of human travelling or, at least, commuting, was one of a number of companies working on sub-supersonic transportation technologies based on Elon Musk‘s original hyperloop idea, which he outlined in a massive whitepaper published in 2014.

The idea is to use tubings and pods inside tubings that run either on a mag-lev or air cushion( either would be zero friction) and use electrical pulsations to propel them forward through the tubes. The benefit of sealed tubings is that they they’d protect the pods, which would be traveling well over 700 miles per hour, from the elements. The other company working on a full-scale hyperloop system is called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies or HTT. It has yet to perform a public test.

The departure of a founder, who some might call a tech visionary, could impact Hyperloop One’s aggressive timeline: delivering a working Hyperloop One running freight system by 2019 and a human transport line by 2021.

Stepping into BamBrogan’s shoes, however, isSVP of Engineering Josh Giegel, who also happens to be Hyperloop One’s very first employee.

Hyperloop One’s new CTO Josh Giegel

Image: lance ulanoff/ mashable

Few if any in the company know more about the technology behind hyperloop. Giegel spoke to me in May, just hours before Hyperloop One’s first successful exam, explaining in detail the technology behind the test and what success would mean. “If this works the style we predicted it does, then we take this design and move it inside the tube later this year, he said.

A company spokesperson sent this statement on Giegel’s appointment 😛 TAGEND

Hyperloop One is pleased to announce that Josh Giegel has been promoted to President of Engineering and appointed to the Board of Directors. Josh has been a valued engineering leader as cofounder and SVP Engineering since the companys inception. Prior to joining Hyperloop One in November 2014, Josh held senior stances at SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Echogen Power Systems. Were aroused for him to take this new expanded role.

After the successful Hyperloop One test in May, BamBrogan said, “This is the first step in a long journey.” It’s only no longer clear if Brogan BamBrogan will be joining them on that ride.

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