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Cast Your Vote!

Vote for your favorite tunnel boring machine artwork and names for Purple (D Line) Extension Section 3

The last two Purple (D Line) Extension tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have landed in Los Angeles! Currently, assembly of the first tunnel boring machine is underway on the VA Hospital Campus. Traditionally, the TBMs cannot begin work until they are named and adorned with artwork. Help us select the winners!

The voting period is open through August 31, 2020.

TBM Naming Contest Finalists

Purple Line Extension 3 will send two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) into the earth. Help us pick the names for each TBM.

Vote your favorite name for TBM 1:

TBM 1 Name: Angela | Submitted by: Presley Moreno| Affiliation: UCLA

I would like to choose the name Angela because of its similarity with the name Los Angeles. I was trying to think of names that sounded similar to Angeles and Angela seemed perfect. Both of these names are also connected to the word “angel”, as Los Angeles is sometimes called the “city of angels”. When thinking of an influential person, I think of Angela Davis. She used to be a professor at UCLA in 1970 but was fired due to her political party affiliation. She has been an influential activist for issues concerning civil rights and the prison system. She is still influential today as she speaks on current issues relating to law enforcement and police brutality. It would be remarkable for one of the tunnel boring machines to be named after her.

TBM 1 Name: Josie | Submitted by: Andy Pei | Affiliation: UCLA

Josie is named for Josie Bruin, one of UCLA’s official mascots. She can be seen at UCLA sporting events, cheering on the Bruins with enthusiasm and exciting the crowd with her boyfriend Joe Bruin. She is also involved in the local community, whether it’s visiting elementary schools or appearing at charitable events. Josie represents the best of UCLA by bleeding blue and gold while serving the community in and around Los Angeles.

TBM 1 Name: Aura | Submitted by: Derik De Baun | Affiliation: UCLA

Bruin alumnus here! I nominate “Aura” to be the name of one of the TBMs. The name is Latin for “gold” and it works on several levels because this last stretch of the Purple (errr…I mean D) line strikes gold in three ways.

  1. Tunneling to Westwood Village will mean UCLA will finally have a station nearby (which is a godsend from taking the 720 bus to Koreatown for the train, like I had to) and what are UCLA’s colors? Blue and GOLD! Yes that’s right the state color that made 49ers drool once upon a time.
  2. The terminus at the VA Building in West LA. You know what you see when you look at the seal of the VA? What encloses it? You guessed it….GOLD, specifically a golden cord symbolizing those who have fallen for our nation.
  3. The completion date of 2027….by then the Summer Olympics will be just around the corner and LA, along with the rest of the nation, will be thirsty for GOLD! So, you see, this last segment will digging and reaching for gold and why “Aura” should be the name of the TBM making it so.


Vote your favorite name for TBM 2

TBM 2 Name: Iris | Submitted by: Claire O'Hanlon | Affiliation: Veterans Affairs

Iris Critchell is a badass. She flew military aircraft during World War II with the Women Airforce Service Pilots. She represented the U.S. in swimming at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. She taught aeronautics and aviation, both male-dominated fields, at prestigious institutions of higher education for decades. And she is still alive – she will be 100 in December.

I met Iris Critchell as a student at Harvey Mudd College, a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) school here in Southern California. After her service in WWII and teaching at her alma mater of USC, she taught aviation and aeronautics at Harvey Mudd. She has been recognized internationally for her expertise as a flight instructor and educator, and two of her students went on to become astronauts.

Even today, women are a small but important part of Veteran community. Few World War II Veterans are still living. Naming the Tunnel Boring Machine that goes under the Veterans Affairs hospital after living Los Angeles legend Iris Critchell honors the contributions of a Veteran pioneer in transportation and STEM while she is still around to be recognized.

TBM 2 Name: Heddy | Submitted by: Lindsay Winters | Affiliation: Veterans Affairs

The name I am submitting for the tunnel boring machines is Hedy Lamarr—a bombshell actress and more importantly, a brilliant inventor. She is responsible for improving air transportation and created the predecessor to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Hedy Lamarr was born in Vienna in 1914. As a young actress she married an ammunition manufacturer who helped spark her interest in engineering and the scientific field. Lamarr eventually divorced him and moved to Hollywood to be a successful actress.

During World War II, Lamarr teamed up with inventors Howard Hughes and musical composer, George Antheil. She drew inspiration from nature and redesigned Hughes’ airplane wings to be aerodynamic and much faster.

The US Navy was having issues with enemies jamming their radio-guided torpedoes. Lamarr and Antheil’s solution: frequency-hopping. The torpedoes would change radio frequency to avoid being jammed. This invention was given to the Navy but due to its complexity was not put into use until the Cuban Missile Crisis, eventually becoming Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Hedy Lamar’s ideas and tenacity left an imprint on our military, communications, and transportation. Honor this legacy and help inspire future female engineers by naming the tunnel boring machine near the VA campus after her.

TBM 2 Name: Shoshana | Submitted by: Sidney | Affiliation: Veterans Affairs

I thought about (SPC) Shoshana Nyree, a second-generation United States Army veteran. The first black woman in the United States war history to become a P.O.W. that was captured doing the Iraq war.

One day or twenty-two days would be a bit too much for anyone to endure significantly wounded. "Like the TBM, she saw the light at the end of the tunnel."


TBM Art Contest Finalists

Phyllis Miller, Price of Freedom

Sidney Tuggerson Jr., Communities at its Best

Royce Soohoo, Purple Line Extension

Jose Zamora, Untitled

Tammy Brackens, Untitled

Sara Chow, Untitled