Putting engineering to work in service to the community
University of Canberra alumnus Bryce Cronin grew up in Dubbo, NSW, where exposure to science and technology was minimal – but over time he became more and more conscious of how much of our everyday lives is going digital, and how this impacts the importance of scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
Bryce graduated in 2020 from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Engineering in Network and Software Engineering with first-class honours and in the time since, he has reached incredible heights through his passion for STEM, engineering and developing the tech skills of the future, in himself and others. Bryce is now working as an Associate Consultant at Adobe Australia, specialising in front-end website development, with federal clients.
Following his graduation, Bryce founded Hackathons.com.au, a website designed to promote hackathons, which bring innovators and tech professionals together to collaborate on the development of software projects with positive community outcomes both locally and across the globe.
“Hackathons.com.au promotes STEM events around the country, focusing on social change and breaking down barriers, or solutions to solve humanitarian issues, not just within Australia but around the world as well. The intention is to make these opportunities accessible for young people, giving them a way to learn new skills and make a valuable contribution to society,” he says.
It provides a platform for individual hackathons, gathering all the information in one place. Since its establishment in 2021, Hackathons has promoted over 150 STEM events, including a few hackathons for Engineers Australia. It is intended to encourage younger generations to get involved, a tool Bryce wishes was available to him when he was younger.
He also offers up his expertise in support of each event where possible, and has assisted at many, including as a mentor for the University of Sydney’s Humanitarian Innovation Hackathon.
In addition to his job at Adobe and managing Hackathons.com.au, Bryce has recently begun another website called Access3D, a volunteer-run initiative seeking to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities in Australia, through the development of individualised tools and technology.
Access3D was established earlier this year in response to the rising costs and import delays affecting assistive technologies in Australia.
“Access3D provides a way for people to get in touch, tell us their issues. We then 3D print something that will help and ship it to them – usually saving them a heap of money and providing them with a product that will make their life easier.”
Bryce and his team have so far manufactured low-cost assistive technologies such as cutlery grips, writing aids, and replacement buttons for mobility devices using 3D printers.
In 2020, Bryce designed an open-source accessible 3D-printed COVID-19 face shield – with assistance from UC Engineering Society members – for use in developing nations and was the winner at the APEC App Challenge for designing a prototype Android app to make the COVID-19 QR code check-in process easier.
Bryce’s list of community-driven projects is extensive, and it is incredible to see how he uses his passion and understanding of STEM and engineering to change people’s lives – locally, nationally and globally.
“It’s incredible to watch technology evolve, and be used in new ways that positively impact people’s lives – and it’s an amazing feeling to contribute to that change,” he says.
Words by Shannon Pickrell, photos by Tyler Cherry and supplied.
Bryce Cronin has been nominated for a Chancellor’s Rising Star Award at the Distinguished Alumni Awards. These will be presented at the 2022 University of Canberra Night of Nights on 29 July 2022.
The Chancellor's Rising Star Award recognises alumni who are an emerging professional proving to be a trailblazer in their field.