Team

It takes extraordinary people working together to do extraordinary things. We've assembled the best and brightest to accomplish the impossible. Meet some of them below.

Meet the Senior Leadership Team

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Chairman of the Board

His Excellency Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem became Chairman of DP World on 30 May 2007. He is a leading UAE and international businessman whose visionary leadership spearheaded the rapid expansion of Dubai’s infrastructure, including ports and free zones, contributing significantly to the stellar growth trajectory of the United Arab Emirates.


Mr. Bin Sulayem was previously Chairman of Dubai World and served as Chairman of Port & Free Zone World FZE and remains one of the two representatives of DP World’s majority shareholder on the Board.


Josh Giegel

Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Josh Giegel is the CEO and Co-Founder of Virgin Hyperloop where he is leading a world-class team of engineers making the hyperloop a reality.


Josh founded the company in 2014, when hyperloop was an idea drawn on a whiteboard in a garage. A little over two years later, VH built a full-scale prototype capturing the attention of governments worldwide. Today, Josh is leading the development of paradigm shifting electromagnetic, high power, autonomous technology, bridging the engineering work with unparalleled passenger experience, and working at the highest levels of government to develop a regulatory framework for hyperloop technology.


In November 2020, Josh made history becoming one of the first passengers in the world to ride on a hyperloop.


Previously, at SpaceX, Josh developed the world’s first reusable rockets and led the successful testing of six different rocket engines. From the final frontier to the horizon right here on the ground, Josh shifted his focus to power the earth with revolutionary waste heat-to-power energy technology, leading research activities at Echogen Power Systems.


Josh is passionate about the power of engineering to create solutions that enable people to live their lives how they want – where they want - in a way that is sustainable. This led him to leverage his expertise in high performance rocket engines with his grasp of clean energy generation to develop the world’s first autonomous, high-performance, electric mode of mass transportation.


Josh received an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University where he was a Graduate Engineering Fellow. He holds a BSME from Penn State University where he graduated with honors and was first in his class.


Raja Narayanan

Chief Financial Officer

Raja is Virgin Hyperloop's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), overseeing all finance and business development functions as the company drives hyperloop technology towards commercialization.


Before joining Virgin Hyperloop, Raja was most recently an SVP at Hyundai-Aptiv Autonomous Driving Joint Venture, focused on commercializing L4 autonomous driving technology. He was part of a broader executive team at Aptiv that led to the creation of the joint venture (JV) valued at $4 billion. At the JV, he was responsible for developing, nurturing, and maintaining a broad swath of partnerships which included maximizing commercial value into the program ecosystem.


Prior to that, Raja was involved with OneWeb, where he led the creation of a financially compelling offering for commercial aviation. As a VP at Panasonic, he led the strategic plan and P&L transformation of the appliances business unit into IoT-based automation. In a previous assignment, he was responsible for driving the re-imagination of the business and technology architecture of the in-flight platform for commercial aviation.


Raja holds a master’s degree in computer science from University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and dual bachelor’s degrees in engineering and physics from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, and the University of Madras, India, respectively. He is also a co-author of 6 wireless networking patents that have been granted by the U.S. patent office.


Harj Dhaliwal

Managing Director - CFO's Office

Harj Dhaliwal oversees all customer activity and projects for Virgin Hyperloop in the Middle East and India. With over 35 years of civil engineering experience, he has a proven track record for managing mega rail and infrastructure projects in complex challenging environments around the world.


He began his career as a contractor, moved into consulting and has held senior management roles in global client and consulting organizations. Harj has spent the last 22 years in the development, delivery, and management of heavy rail, light rail, and metro projects including PPP, PFI and D&B projects across Europe and the Middle East. Notably, he was the Programme Director for the delivery and operation of the first national heavy railway in the UAE - Etihad Rail.


Prior to Virgin Hyperloop, Harj was the Senior Vice President for the International Rail, Transit and Systems business at Parsons Corporation where he was responsible for some of the largest and most complex rail and metro projects in the world and led a team of over 450 staff. Prior to joining Parsons in 2012, Harj led the development of several multibillion-euro rail and transit programs in the UK and Ireland.


Harj is a Chartered Civil Engineer, member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Member of the UK Engineering Council, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Nottingham Trent University, UK. Harj is based in Virgin Hyperloop’s Dubai office.


Diana Gonzalez

VP of Accounting & Finance

Diana is the VP of Accounting & Finance at Virgin Hyperloop. Joining the company in 2015, she has been instrumental in building the team and departmental framework.


As a member of the Senior Leadership team, Diana oversees all corporate financial planning and analysis. She is also responsible for all accounting and tax-related matters, as well as financial operations overseas. Diana continues to play an integral role in the company’s dynamic trajectory as it takes its next steps towards commercialization.


Prior, Diana was a key player in the success of TuTv, a start-up owned by Univision and Televisa. In December 2010, when TuTv was acquired by Univision at a value of $110 million, Diana spearheaded the integration. She started her career at Ernst & Young where she spent 4 years gaining broad experience in a number of industries and earning her license as a Certified Public Accountant.


Ryan Kelly

VP of Marketing and Communications

Ryan oversees global marketing and communications for Virgin Hyperloop and supports the commercialization of hyperloop technology through strategic global campaigns.


Ryan gained knowledge and expertise in digital strategy and marketing from years spent consulting with hundreds of brands at companies large and small.


Ryan worked at The New York Times on one of the first integrated advertising teams, as well as WPP, one of the first advertising networks, and was the Digital Director at Media-Corps, managing a 6 billion impression per month network. Pivoting to the agency realm, as a partner at GWNewYork, he oversaw digital strategy, buying, and planning for B/S/H appliance brands and various others. Other clients included Salesforce, Oracle, Lufthansa, American Express, and Bose.


Ryan also teaches marketing strategy to Fortune 1000 companies through General Assembly and was named a 40 under 40 leader for Los Angeles county. He holds a BA in Advertising and BS in Marketing from Syracuse University.


Josh Raycroft

VP of Business Strategy

Josh Raycroft leads the Business Strategy team responsible for Virgin Hyperloop’s business model, project economics, and fundraising strategy. He feels privileged to have helped build the best team he’s worked with to develop the commercialization model for a highly complex system.


Josh joined the company in 2015 after completing his first year of Duke University’s MBA program where he focused on transportation and renewable energy. Prior to business school, Josh spent six years in engineering at GE Aviation, primarily designing components of the engine that powers the 737 MAX and A320neo. Josh has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.


Outside of work, Josh is an avid cyclist, enjoys traveling and not owning a car in LA, and is working on his first renewable energy project.


Dennis Reinhold

Interim General Counsel

Dennis Reinhold is Virgin Hyperloop’s Interim General Counsel, overseeing all legal, regulatory and governmental relations functions.


Dennis is a seasoned attorney and C-Suite Executive with over 30 years’ experience. Dennis has a strong business background and an expertise in handling mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and other complex transactions, both domestically and internationally. In addition. he has extensive regulatory experience at both the Federal and State level, as well as substantial technology experience, including digital media, in-chat advertising, electronic payment processing services, money transmitter licensing, software and telecommunications.


Recently, Dennis was chosen as DFW General Counsel of the Year for a Midsized Legal Department, at the Association of Corporate Counsel's 2020 DFW Outstanding Corporate Counsel Awards Ceremony at the George Busch Library in Dallas, Texas. In addition, he was the feature cover story in Vanguard Law Magazine – Winter 2021 Edition.


Before joining Virgin Hyperloop, Dennis was the SVP and General Counsel of Aventiv Technologies. He was on the Executive Management Team and intimately involved in strategy and growth of the company. At Aventiv, he started and managed a patent innovation program and grew the patent portfolio from 35 patents to more than 300 patents and another 100 patents pending. He is the sole inventor on one patent involving biometrics and a co-inventor on another patent involving drone detection and interception. In addition, at Aventiv, he led all M&A activity, and successfully completed more than 20 technology related acquisitions.


Dennis earned a Juris Doctor degree from St. Louis University School of Law, a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Business Administration from the University of Illinois, and he completed the Advanced Management Program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.


Brian Gaumer

VP of Core Engineering

Brian has over 15 years experience in Machine Design, Aerospace Bearing Applications and Testing and oversees all test development for Virgin Hyperloop.


Prior to joining the company he was the Chief Engineer for two divisions of RBC Bearings, where he built and managed a team of design, application and test engineers. During his tenure, he built a state of the art test facility to service Aerospace OEM’s.


Name

Function
Description

Meet The People Making Hyperloop a Reality

  • Meet Kate
  • Meet Nami
  • Meet Steven
  • Meet Sushant
  • Kate McCarthy Process Development Engineer
  • Nami Peymani Senior Automation Controls Electrical Engineer
  • Steven Rodarte Senior Machinist
  • Sushant Chavan Manufacturing Process Development Engineer

Team Spotlight

  • Machine Intelligence & Analytics

    The Machine Intelligence & Analytics team uses mathematical optimization and multidimensional geometries to optimize for system operations, linear infrastructure, and design simultaneously.

  • Systems Engineering & Integration

    The Systems Engineering and Integration team defines and controls the interfaces between physical and digital subsystems to take hyperloop from a technology to a transportation innovation.

  • Flight Controls

    The Flight Controls team designs and develops the electromagnetic hyperloop propulsion, levitation, and guidance systems for the smoothest flight on earth.

Open positions

Want to build something that no one has ever built before? How about something that will impact millions for generations to come? We are looking for passionate thinkers, doers, and problem-solvers who thrive on challenge and share our vision for fast, effortless journeys that expand possibilities.

Careers

FAQ

  • Q. What is Virgin Hyperloop?

    We're a privately-held company on a mission to create fast, effortless journeys that expand possibilities and eliminate the barriers of distance and time.

  • Q. Why are you building a hyperloop?

    There are too many people caught bumper-to-bumper in traffic, who have to make a hard choice with their family on where to live and work, and who are limited in their access to experiences and opportunities. We're building a system that will give back time and deliver the travel experience of the future.

  • Q. Why do we need hyperloop now?

    The number of cars is set to double worldwide by 2040, same with air and trucking. We are already dealing with the effects of pollution, lack of access, and congestion. If we only invest in the same technologies we’ve had for more than a century, tomorrow will look like today, only much worse. It’s been over a century since the Wright Brothers first showed us human flight was possible. It’s time for a new era in transportation capable of carrying us forward for the next 100 years.

  • Q. How much funding has Virgin Hyperloop received?

    To date, we have received over $400 million.

  • Q. Who are the key investors in Virgin Hyperloop?

    A major investor of ours is DP World, a leading enabler of global trade who sees the potential of sustainable hyperloop-enabled cargo systems. Additionally, we are backed by the Virgin Group, an industry leader across rail, aviation, ships, and even spacecrafts. For more on our investors, visit the company page.

  • Q. Does Virgin Hyperloop have any partners?

    Virgin Hyperloop is the only hyperloop company that has a strategic partnership with a mass transportation company, the Virgin Group, an industry leader across rail, aviation, ships, and even spacecrafts. Another key partner of ours is DP World, a leading enabler of global trade who sees the potential of sustainable hyperloop-enabled cargo systems. Other industry-leading partners include Spirit AeroSystems, KPMG, Foster + Partners, Systra, BIG, SNCF, GE, Deutsche Bahn, Black & Veatch, McKinsey, Deloitte, Jacobs, Turner & Townsend, ARUP, and Steer, among others.

  • Q. Is Elon Musk an investor or affiliated with Virgin Hyperloop?

    No, there’s no connection with Elon Musk.

  • Q. How do you plan to scale up operations around the world?

    We aren't just building a hyperloop; we're building a network of public and private partners to scale an integrated supply chain ecosystem. Our business model is based on partnerships that create local jobs and opportunities for those who choose to invest in this technology. We are working at the highest level of governments around the globe to put in place commercial agreements to make hyperloop a reality.

  • Q. What is hyperloop?

    Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation designed to eliminate the barriers of distance and time for both people and freight. It can travel at speeds approaching 700mph, connecting cities like metro stops - and it has zero direct emissions. The journeys can be booked on demand so there’s no wait time or delays.

  • Q. How does hyperloop work?

    With hyperloop, vehicles, called pods, accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod floats along the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.

  • Q. Has hyperloop technology been proven?

    Yes. We’ve successfully run hundreds of tests at our full-scale prototype in the Nevada desert. On November 8, 2020, the first passengers traveled safely on a hyperloop – making transportation history. This test demonstrated that we can safely put a person in a near-vacuum environment, and our entire safety approach was validated by an independent third party.

  • Q. How fast can hyperloop go?

    We estimate that the top speed for a passenger vehicle or light cargo will be 670 miles per hour or 1080 kilometers per hour. That is about 3 times faster than high-speed rail and 10-15 times faster than traditional rail. The average speed vehicles travel will vary based on the route and customer requirements.

  • Q. Why keep the tube at low-pressure and not at a perfect vacuum?

    A perfect vacuum would decrease the drag on the vehicle even more, but not significantly. We have already gotten rid of 99.9% of the air in the tube. Lower levels of vacuum than this are important if you are performing scientific experiments, but the cost would not be worthwhile.

  • Q. How is hyperloop different from high-speed trains?

    Hyperloop is an entirely new mode - think the best of trains, planes, and the metro. Hyperloop is on-demand, offering flexible travel schedules with no stops, no transfers, and no weather delays – all at speeds about 3 times faster than high-speed-rail and less cost. Hyperloop is highly efficient, with a smaller environmental impact than high-speed rail because the closed system can be tunneled below or elevated above ground, avoiding dangerous at-grade crossings. The VH system is 100% electric and can reach higher speeds than high-speed rail for less energy due to our proprietary electric motor and low-drag environment.

  • Q. Is hyperloop safe?

    Fast, effortless journeys go hand-in-hand with journeys where everything works reliably without interference, and where all passengers feel comfortable and safe. The Virgin Hyperloop is designed to be inherently safer than other modes, with multiple redundancies in place. Our system operates autonomously in an enclosed tube and is not susceptible to weather delays, accidents from at-grade crossings, human error, or power outages. Our proprietary high-speed switching architecture eliminates unsafe track configurations and moving trackside parts, a failure point of traditional rail with mechanical switches.

  • Q. How do you plan to get hyperloop certified?

    As new mode, we have to prove our safety case to regulators and work with them to develop a regulatory framework, so passengers can ride the hyperloop in years not decades. We are encouraged by the support we are seeing at the local and federal level around the world to support hyperloop certification based on the fundamentals of safe operating that are already standard practice. Our goal is to achieve safety certification by 2025. We are on track to meet this goal and have unveiled West Virginia as the home of the world’s first Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC). This announcement builds off of significant progress around the world on the regulatory front. In July 2020, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine Chao and the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council unveiled the guidance document on a clear regulatory framework for hyperloop in the United States. In the EU, the European Commission (EC) has just released the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and hyperloop is explicitly identified as a game-changing mobility technology. We are also working closely with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DGMOVE) and Shift2Rail to deliver the next wave of sustainable mobility through robust regulatory standards. In India, the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India, Prof. Vijayraghavan, has set up an independent committee called the Consultative Group on Future of Transportation (CGFT) to explore the regulatory path for hyperloop. For more, visit our regulatory progress pages.

  • Q. What will it feel like to ride hyperloop?

    While flying through a tube at more than 1000km/h might seem like a thrill ride, the truth is we are able to mitigate any uncomfortable acceleration forces within our controlled environment. The journey will be so smooth, you could sip a coffee the whole time without spilling a single drop. Normal acceleration and deceleration of 0.20 Gs will feel similar to a train. As a comparison, flooring a typical sedan gives between 0.4-0.5 Gs and commercial airplanes see 0.3-0.5Gs depending on the plane and load.

  • Q. What happens if there's a sudden breach in the tube?

    Pods will continue to travel safely to the next portal even with a large breach. Our response to a breach would be to intentionally repressurize the tube with small valves placed along the route length while engaging pod brakes to safely bring all pods to rest before it is deemed safe to continue to the next portal. A sustained leak could impact performance (speed) but would not pose a safety issue due to vehicle and system architectural design choices. This assessment is based on a solid understanding and analysis of the complex vehicle load behaviors during such an event.

  • Q. Is hyperloop sustainable?

    Without a massive leap forward, pollution from the transportation industry is expected to almost double by 2050 - well above the carbon budget. By combining an ultra-efficient electric motor, magnetic levitation, and a low-drag environment, the VH system can reach airline speeds for 5-10x less energy (depends on route length) and can go faster than high-speed rail using less energy. In regions like the Middle East, we could power the system completely by solar panels which cover the tube. As fighting against climate change becomes an existential issue for cities across the globe, hyperloop will create a new, shared, electric mobility model for helping to permanently reform an industry with some of the world’s highest carbon emissions.

  • Q. How much energy does hyperloop use?

    We are designing Virgin Hyperloop to be more efficient than other modes of transportation. Modern jetliners use up to 10 times the energy we use per passenger-mile over the entire journey. We can cruise at 500 miles per hour for less energy (per passenger) than an electric car doing 60 miles per hour. At peak speed, the VH system consumes approximately 75 watt hours per passenger kilometer (Wh/pax-km). To put this in perspective, the fastest conventional maglev train travels at about half our speed and consumes 33% more energy.

  • Q. Where will hyperloop get its power?

    Our system is 100% electric with zero direct emissions. We're energy-agnostic. Our system can draw power from whichever energy sources are available along the route and support a transition to a renewable energy-powered future. In regions like the Middle East, we can completely power the system with solar panels which cover the tube.

  • Q. How much noise does hyperloop make?

    It’s similar those new electric vehicles that are so quiet they need to create noise to indicate movement. With hyperloop, we eliminate sources of mechanical noise, like wheels on track, and we actually have a sound barrier inherent in our tube design

  • Q. Can hyperloop be used for cargo?

    DP World Cargospeed is a global brand for hyperloop-enabled cargo systems operated by DP World and enabled by Virgin Hyperloop technology. These systems will deliver freight at the speed of flight and closer to the cost of trucking for fast, sustainable, and efficient delivery of palletized cargo.

  • Q. What type of cargo would a hyperloop system transport?

    The focus would be on high-priority, on-demand goods – fresh food, medical supplies, electronics, and more.

  • Q. How can hyperloop help transform logistics?

    With DP World Cargospeed, deliveries can be completed in hours versus days with greater reliability and fewer delays. It will expand freight transportation capacity by connecting with existing modes of road, rail, ports, and air transport, and will provide greater connectivity with manufacturing parks, economic zones, distribution centers, and regional urban centers. This can shrink inventory lead times, help reduce finished goods inventory, and cut required warehouse space and cost by 25%. DP World Cargospeed networks can also enable just-in-time, agile manufacturing practices.

  • Q. Will the first hyperloops be passenger or cargo systems?

    The Virgin Hyperloop is unique in that it doesn’t need to be passenger-only or cargo-only. We are designing a mixed-use system that fully utilizes system capacity while maximizing economic and social benefits. However, it is possible to run cargo commercial operations while certification and regulation are still ongoing for passenger use.

  • Q. When will hyperloop systems be ready for cargo and passengers?

    We are working with the most visionary governments around the world to make sure you can ride the hyperloop in years, not decades. Our goal is to have operational systems in the late 2020s. Our ability to meet that goal will depend on how fast the regulatory and statutory processes move.

  • Q. Where will the first hyperloop get built?

    We are working with visionary governments and partners around the world to make hyperloop a reality today. To learn more about our projects around the world, visit our progress page.

  • Q. How much will hyperloop cost to build and operate?

    Capital and operating costs will range widely based on the route. We recently released a study that showed our linear costs are 60-70% that of high-speed rail projects. In addition, we expect the operational costs to be significantly lower than existing forms of transportation.

  • Q. How much will hyperloop cost to ride?

    It’s simple – if it’s not affordable, people won't use it. We are looking to build something that will expand opportunities for the masses, so they can live in one city with their family and work in another. Currently, that kind of high-speed transport is not feasible for most people. The exact ticket price will vary for each route, but a recent study showed that riding a hyperloop in Missouri could cost less than the gas needed to drive.

  • Q. How are hyperloop routes selected?

    We are in the business of serving local needs, not the other way around. Public and private support is key. In some cases, we will respond to solicited bids with partners when we feel the technology matches the project’s objectives. In other cases, we will make an unsolicited bid for a project when we see that hyperloop could offer a unique solution to market needs.

  • Q. What is the process for getting a passenger route up and running?

    While the technology is different, the process for building a hyperloop is similar to that of building a highway, railway, or any other type of linear infrastructure. The first stage is project development. This phase includes feasibility studies, and then more detailed engineering reports and environmental impact studies. Once a project is approved to move forward, a consortium is formed to finance and deliver on the project.

  • Q. How much land does hyperloop require?

    Many infrastructure projects succeed or fail based on right-of-way issues. We are designing a system that requires only about half the right-of-way as high-speed rail and can more easily adapt to existing right-of-ways. At high speeds, the VH system has a 4.5 times tighter turn radius compared to high-speed rail and can climb grades that are 6 times steeper, reducing the disturbance at crossings. Portals will be purposely integrated into and support existing communities and landscapes. Low noise levels will expand opportunities to build hyperloops closer to the city center.

  • Q. With the focus on connecting cities, how will hyperloop support rural communities?

    Hyperloop also holds enormous promise for rural communities. Virgin Hyperloop systems can be built below or above ground, which means no one’s farm needs to be cut in half. Our system enables rural areas to retain residents, who can now have more access to urban job centers, educational opportunities, and health care facilities. Additionally, hyperloop could enable freight distribution centers to be placed in rural areas, leading to job growth and industrial clusters. After a system is built, there is the opportunity to add additional on and off-ramps, supporting a greater number of people along the route.

  • Q. How will hyperloop projects be financed?

    Transportation infrastructure has traditionally relied on extensive government funding. This is because the benefits of clean, safe, and efficient transportation are enjoyed by the entire community, not just the user buying a ticket. However, most existing mass transportation modes are unprofitable and hindered by existing infrastructure built in the past century or by legacy systems. We want to change that and are focused on public-private partnerships. By developing a new mode of transportation from scratch, we're able to leverage technological developments that have occurred in the last century, especially the IT revolution. We're able to keep maintenance costs low, energy efficiency high, and transport tens of thousands of passengers per hour. This keeps margins and accessibility high, contributing to more financially attractive returns than if the corridor was served by existing modes. These benefits aren’t just hypothetical. While this is an exceptional case due to high demand, a third-party evaluation found that our Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop Project could be funded 100% by private capital. In the U.S. we see enormous potential to attract investment from the private sector, leveraging public investments. Involving government stakeholders as well as potential private investors early in the project development process is critical.

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