A 22-year-old Engineering student developed a device to bring us one step closer to beating skin cancer. Already, it’s earned the approval of health experts.

Sheridan Ireland reports.


It’s an eye-catching warning of the vital need for sun protection.

And James Cooney says his UV meter will issue that warning to 20,000 commuters at the UQ bus stop each week.

James Cooney, engineering student: “My hope is that passers-by who see the sign are able to improve their sun protection habits by knowing how bad the sun is at any given time.”

The index records UV rays through a sensor immediately relaying the information for all to see.

Cancer Council Queensland loves the idea.

Rebecca Perkins, Cancer Prevention Manger of Cancer Council Queensland: “One in three people will be diagnosed with a skin cancer in their lifetime. Effective strategies like this will help to protect people from developing skin cancer later in life.”

Queensland is the skin cancer capital of the world, with two in three people diagnosed by the time they’re seventy.

It’s hoped by installing meters in public places like this, we can reduce those statistics.

James Cooney hopes his invention has a bright future.

James Cooney, Engineering student: “Ultimately I’d love to see more signs like this all around Australia, at beaches, at pools, in schools, anywhere where people are outdoors being exposed to the sun.”

To find out more about the index, or to check the current reading, go to smartcity.uqcloud.net.

Sheridan Ireland, QUT News.