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  • TUM Boring – Innovation in Tunneling

    We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the future of mobility. We see tunnels as a technology destined for disruption and want to shape the future of tunneling with innovative concepts. We aim to build the world’s fastest tunnel boring machine (TBM) and are the winners twice of Elon Musk’s Not-a-Boring Competitions, where we competed together with the Technical University of Munich. Our initiative has been featured in many different newspapers and on various podcasts.

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    Driven by the desire to push today’s status quo of the tunnel boring technology, Elon Musk and his tunnel boring company “The Boring Company” announced the Not-a-Boring Competition in July 2020, challenging students from around the world to design and build a tunnel boring machine, that would bore tunnels faster than a snail could crawl. TUM Boring has consistently secured the 1st place in the Not-a-Boring Competition since the commencement of the event.

    2023, Austin, USA

    2021, Las Vegas, USA

    Our Partners

    Prof. Dr. Thomas F. Hofmann

    President of the Technical University of Munich, Patron of TUM Boring - Innovation in Tunneling e.V.

    The mobility of the future is reality today at the Technical University of Munich. I am greatly impressed by our students’ extraordinarily dedicated work on technical innovation and am thrilled to see them successfully prevail in international competition. Talented young individuals from various TUM faculties have won Elon Musk’s SpaceX Hyperloop competition four consecutive times. Of course the expectations placed on them in Musk’s latest competition are substantial. This time the objective is to develop the world’s fastest tunnel boring machine, in order to facilitate the infrastructure necessary for the Hyperloop. I am convinced that we will succeed and I wish our team the greatest possible success. All of TUM is behind you 100 percent!

    Partner with TUM Boring and help us to shape the future of mobility!

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    Our Project

    Because we are all about tunnel boring, what did you think? We believe that our project is actually pretty exciting and are glad that others (media outlets and industrial partners) see it our way.

    We want to shape the future of mobility. Thus, we participate in the international “Not-a-Boring Competition”.

    Tunnels solve many of today’s pressing mobility issues, including the most notorious one, congestion. They can be used for innovative concepts such as Loop or Hyperloop. Individualized point-to-point transportation without intermediate stops allows for unprecedented travelling speeds, comfort and flexibility.

    With our tunnel boring machine, we want to make a technical contribution to help realize visionary projects in the future. Furthermore, we want to represent our university and Munich as a place for innovation and technology.

    Our most noteworthy achievement is building an impressive tunnel boring machine (TBM) and winning the “Not-a-Boring Competition”, which was held in the US in September 2021. We have been selected as one of twelve teams among approximately 400 competitors. But that’s not all. We have acquired a substantial amount of financial support from industrial partners that covers our construction and transportation costs. We have successfully launched a crowdfunding-campaign. And we have been featured in many media outlets, including FAZ, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Handelsblatt, Frank Thelen’s podcast, Bayerischer Rundfunk.

    Our more than 60 members come from 16 countries. Most of us are students at TUM. We believe in an inter- and multidisciplinary approach: our academic backgrounds vary considerably, just like our functions at TUM Boring (divided technical sub teams and Operations). We are united by a passion for innovation and technology. Many of our members have been very active and successful in these areas for a long time.  

    Due to the advanced stage of this year’s project, we do not recruit new members at the moment. But keep an eye open for a potential next round after the competition finals!

    Find out about our core values here.

    The Not-a-Boring Competition

    The “Not-a-Boring Competition” is a competition initiated by The Boring Company (TBC) that challenges teams from around the world to come up with tunneling solutions that (1) increase speed and (2) reduce the cost of construction. 

    Out of 400 competing teams, 12 have been selected (based on a convincing technical concept) to enter the finals, which has taken place in the US in September 2021.

    The participating teams must bore a 30-meter tunnel with a 0.5-meter diameter. Their performance will be judged on the time to complete the tunnel and the driving surface (a remote controlled car will drive through the tunnel) as well as the accuracy of the guiding system.

    The twelve finalists are:

    • Biggus Diggus – Hobbyists – United Kingdom
    • CU Hyperloop – University of Colorado Boulder – United States
    • Dirt-Torpedo – DHBW Mosbach – Germany
    • HyperloopUC – University of Cincinnati – United States
    • MIT Hyperloop III – Massachusetts Institute of Technology – United States
    • Paradigm Boring – Memorial University of Newfoundland and Northeastern University, St. John’s – Canada and United States
    • Swissloop Tunneling – ETH Zurich – Switzerland
    • Team Badgermole – Hobbyists – India and United States
    • The Diggeridoos – Virginia Tech – United States
    • The Warwick Boring Team – University of Warwick – United Kingdom
    • TUM Boring – Innovation in Tunneling – Technical University of Munich (TUM) – Germany
    • UMD Loop – University of Maryland – United States

    This slogan refers to a key problem of today’s construction: Currently, tunnel boring machines are only able to dig approximately 20 to 50 meters a day. This is more than ten times slower than a snail crawls per day. The teams are challenged to catch up to the snail by facilitating and speeding up the  tunnel boring process.

    Let Congestion be a thing of the past.

    Tunnels help solve many of today’s pressing mobility issues, including the most notorious one, congestion. They can be used for innovative concepts such as Loop or Hyperloop. Individualized point-to-point transportation without intermediate stops allows for unprecedented travelling speeds, comfort and flexibility. Making mobility three-dimensional is a necessity for more efficient and less time-consuming transportation.

    Increase Quality of Life.

    In times when recreational and green spaces are limited and when we are constantly exposed to noise and pollution created by excessive traffic, taking transportation underground can substantially increase our quality of life. Former roads can be transformed into green spaces, specifically adapted to the needs of cyclists, pedestrians and local communities in general.    

    Modern concepts, such as Hyperloop, depend on efficient tunnel construction. Unfortunately, this is still a long, grueling and highly expensive process.  The Boring Company has, thus, initiated a competition that challenges teams from around the world to develop a tunnel boring machine (TBM) allowing for faster, more efficient and precise construction. We were immediately excited about the prospects of developing our own powerful TBM. It
    enables construction at more than ten times the current industrial standard’s speed. Although designed specifically for the purposes of the competition, our TBM can make a contribution to making tunnel boring faster and cheaper


    In order to be able to finance construction and transportation to the U.S., we are dependent on external financial support.

    Our industrial partners as well as friends & supports can be found here: https://tum-boring.com/our-partners. We are very grateful for their support!

    Additionally, we have launched a crowdfunding campaign.

    The TUM has been behind us from day one. TUM President Prof. Dr. Hofmann supports us as Patron of our project. Additionally, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Fillibeck offers advice as our faculty advisor.

    While TUM Hyperloop is now focusing on research for a full-scale hyperloop system, TUM Boring – Innovation in Tunneling e.V. is a newly founded non-profit organization. Nevertheless, we are generously supported by the leads and members of the TUM Hyperloop (formerly WARR Hyperloop) Teams and are very grateful for that!

    Supporting TUM Boring means supporting a group of highly motivated students from Munich that want to make a difference in mobility to the benefit of everyone. You can join in by contributing to our crowdfunding campaign.

    Bachelor Thesis

    Tum Boring has 2 Bachelor’s theses available from Chair of Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Rock Mechanics and Tunneling for Civil Engineering students!

    The bachelor thesis is a student’s first scientific research project on a very limited topic. The thesis must be completed within a period of 5 months. The bachelor thesis is evaluated with 9 ECTS. Please refer to your subject examination regulations for more details.

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