Hyperloop co-founder learned ropes in garage in McDonald
Engineer to keep refining his product
Josh Giegel has come a long way from his childhood working on cars with his father in the garage of their home near McDonald.
Mr. Giegel, 32, still works on cars, but now as one of the founders of Hyperloop One, the cars the West Allegheny High School graduate works on can travel 700 miles an hour on a cushion of air inside a low-pressure tube. Mr. Giegel is also president of engineering for Hyperloop, the California company that last week chose a proposed Pittsburgh-ColumbusChicago route as one of 10 projects that will continue developing their proposals to implement the emerging technology.
Not bad for someone who expected he might someday manage a small engineering firm.
Mr. Giegel got his interest in engineering naturally because his parents are engineers, father David with Mitsubishi Electric in Cranberry and mother Tommilea with the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport. After getting his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Penn State — don’t remind his parents, both Pitt grads — and his master’s from Stanford, he was contemplating continuing on for his doctorate when he landed an interview with Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
“There’s nothing I think I’d never want to do less than spend four years in academic research,” he said Friday in an interview from London. “Grad school really opened my eyes to what was possible. You don’t