Warwick reaches final of Boring tunnel competition

Students from Warwick University are due to travel to LA later this year to compete in the finals of a tunnelling competition set up by Elon Musk’s Boring Company.

(Credit: University of Warwick)

Known as Warwick Boring, the team consists of 30 students supported by industry experts and academics. They are one of 12 teams to be shortlisted for the final from nearly 400 entries to the competition. The final event will see Warwick compete against other universities including MIT, TUM and ETH Zurich, with teams designing and building prototypes to construct 30m long and 500mm wide tunnels.

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“We are still shocked by the result!” said Sanzhar Taizhan, founder and co-project lead at Warwick Boring. “The project is like a roller-coaster with ups and downs. We have spent hundreds of hours designing and engineering the product. However, there is no time to rest, and we need to keep working hard on building the first prototype and do well in the summer. Our team are very talented and the University of Warwick is strongly helping us to achieve our goals.”

This is not the first time Sanzhar has led a team into an Elon Musk competition, having previously been involved in the Warwick team that reached the semi-finals of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2018-2019.

For the current challenge, Warwick Boring came together in September 2020 and proceeded through several selection stages including submitting detailed technical reports for their design. The team’s members are STEM students from various fields including mechanical, electrical, and system engineering, as well as physics and mathematics.

“This is indeed a fantastic achievement by the team,” said Dr Alan Bloodworth, a lecturer in civil engineering and one of the academic advisors to the team.

“They have shown great confidence, self-belief and a ‘can do’ attitude, as well as careful attention to high quality engineering and technical solutions. It is a diverse team that has come together with a shared objective to design and build better for a sustainable future that is a great showcase of what young engineers are capable of. We look forward with great anticipation to the final.”