3 engineers reveal what it's really like to work for Hyperloop One

by John Siegel
March 13, 2017

It hasn't taken long for Hyperloop One to establish itself as one of the world's most intriguing tech companies.

With deals in place to bring the startup's innovative transportation technology all over the world and a much-anticipated product exhibition in the works, the company is rapidly expanding in order to develop the bandwidth required of a global tech company. 

At the company's headquarters in the Arts District, a diverse team of engineers works together to further develop a technology that could at once be the solution to traffic and a system that could make the world a much more interconnected place. If you’re looking to join the team, check out their open positions here.

Hyperloop One's director of product development, Chris Vasquez, was enjoying life as a lead engineer at another prominent LA-based company, SpaceX, when he decided to go visit a friend at the newly-minted Hyperloop headquarters. He didn't expect to walk out several hours later with a new job.

How did you get your job at Hyperloop One?

I stopped by to chat with a friend for about an hour. Eight hours later, I was offered the job, and I accepted immediately.

What was so appealing about the job?

As a commuter, I spend up to two hours a day getting to and from work. Hyperloop One was an opportunity to solve my own problem. Pretty hard to pass on that.

On a day-to-day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities?

Product development centers around solving problems in a way that provides value to the customer and to ourselves. I’m responsible for leading a cross-functional team that defines the capabilities of the systems we engineer and ensuring that we focus on the right things in the right order. Additionally, I manage a team that is responsible for customer interaction, process development and system optimization.

What is the engineering team culture like?

Hyperloop One is young and we’re still defining our culture, but in a word: gratifying. Maybe that doesn’t describe the culture per se but it’s the predominant feeling I get on the daily. Designing a new transportation system from the ground up is the quintessential multidisciplinary effort. A typical half hour conversation spans two to three engineering fields, involves a new grad, one or more PhDs and is a mixture of humor, honesty and math. It’s not for everyone, but if you crave learning and growing, it’s like drinking from a firehose.

What's your favorite part about working for Hyperloop One?

Free lunch is hard to beat, but at the end of the day, working on something meaningful is what gets me up in the morning. If we do this right, we could quite literally change the face of the planet — enabling a new age of global social connectedness.

For pod safety engineer Maria Matthews, one of the major perks Hyperloop One offers is the opportunity to be a part of a team that hopes to change the world.

What was so appealing about working at Hyperloop One?

Revolutionizing global transportation for cargo and people has a huge potential to tackle major global issues that I care about. I think the impacts this breakthrough technology could have could change the world for the better, and I am so excited to be a part of it!

On a day-to-day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities?

It literally changes every day, but I love running around and learning new things constantly!

What is the engineering team culture like?

The Hyperloop One team is wicked smart and absolutely the nicest group of people I could ever ask to work with.

What's your favorite part about working for Hyperloop One?

The amazing (free!) catered lunch every day and the group workout with personal trainers three times a week.

Sandhya Jetti, a senior electrical engineer in the company, was in the market for a new job when a friend described  Hyperloop's technology to her. As luck would have it, Hyperloop One was in the market for an employee with Jetti's skill set. More than a year later, it's apparent that a passion for the product is a cultural cornerstone at Hyperloop One.

How did you get your job at Hyperloop One?

I was in Santa Barbara and was looking to move to Irvine when I heard about a “hyperloop company” from a coworker. He told me to make sure it is the right hyperloop company. I did so, and applied on the website and got called in for an interview.

What was so appealing about the job?

The excitement of building something that has never been built before and which could potentially change the world of transportation was the most appealing thing about the company. I saw this as an opportunity to really make an impact and build something cool.

On a day-to-day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities?

I am responsible for engineering a key component in the Hyperloop One propulsion system. My day-to-day responsibilities are to touch base with our manufacturer (which is building our cabinets), address any issues and perform electrical tests and development as planned. My priority is to deliver the product for the DevLoop on schedule and with high performance.

What is the engineering team culture like?

Most of the engineers are self-motivated and can work at a fast pace. At the same time, they are fun to hang around and still get the work done.

What's your favorite part about working for Hyperloop One?

I love that we have food provided every day (lunch, coffee, snacks and fruits). It helps to keep working hard but not feel exhausted.

 

 

Images via Hyperloop One. Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

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