James Hryniw is a fourth-year software engineering student at the University of Alberta and the current Project Lead of ARVP. James’s interest in robotics started during seventh grade, when he first learned how to program robots to complete a series of tasks as part of the FIRST Lego League (FLL) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics competitions. Even at a young age, James’s talents were undeniable. His team won multiple Alberta championships and advanced to the world championships numerous times.
In his second year of university, James joined ARVP to further his passion in a more challenging environment. The club rekindled James’s interest for robotics and allowed him to obtain complex skills: programing in C++, building systems in ROS, and developing iterative software designs. James’s extensive knowledge of the field and outstanding leadership earned him positions as the Software Team Lead in 2017 and Project Lead in 2018. Under James’s leadership, the club placed 13th out of 50 teams at the 2018 Robosub Competition.
When James was introduced to Cruise Automation through his good friend Nathan, James was immediately captivated by Cruise’s mission to build advanced self-driving vehicles and recognized this as an opportunity to utilize his robotics knowledge to transform the world. After receiving the job for Cruise’s Product Engineering team in San Francisco, James was able to apply his web development experience acquired from ARVP to the Product Team’s three-fold mission: develop Cruise’s mobile ridesharing application, connect and coordinate vehicles, and build internal tools for productivity. The best part of it all… he even got to ride in an autonomous vehicle!
James’s future plans include graduating and continuing to work for Cruise Automation. He plans to stay involved with ARVP and will continue to volunteer for FIRST robotics competitions as a Field Technical Advisor.