UNH InterOperability Lab

UNH Director One of Most Powerful People in Networking

InterOperability Lab's Scott Valcourt honored by Network World Magazine

By Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau

January 23, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- The managing director of the University of New Hampshire's InterOperability Lab has been named one of the 50 most powerful people in networking by Network World Magazine.

Scott Valcourt, who also serves as associate director of research computing, was honored recently in the magazine's eighth annual special edition, the "Power Issue" (Dec. 24-31).

Valcourt has been managing director of the IOL since September 2000. He joined research computing as a student in 1992, and returned to the center as a full-time staff member in 1994 to form the 100VG-AnyLAN Consortium in the IOL. Over the years, he has managed several consortia, which provided him the insight necessary to hold the position of IOL managing director.

Calling Valcourt a "power standard-setter," the magazine says "standards are the network industry's version of a lowest common denominator. Those who set standards help ensure products can work together, safely and securely. Our network coaches, they help shape vendor strategy and teach vendors to play by the rules."

While pleased with the honor, Valcourt is quick to highlight the long-term achievements of the IOL when discussing his role at the lab. "When you are in the networking community and you mention the words University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab or just UNH, people in that community listen. They know that name, and that name means a lot in that community.

"As long as we continue to do the good technical work and foster that intellectual atmosphere amongst these communities and represent the university well, I think that continues to enhance the lab's reputation and the university's reputation," he says.

The IOL started in 1988 with just a handful of staff from the Research Computing Center and one vendor, Prime Computer, which was testing Ethernet technology. That first foray into testing and the accompanying $500,000 contract prompted RCC to build a testing lab, says Bill Lenharth, director of research computing.

What started on a shoestring budget has grown to employ 150 full-time staff, undergraduate and graduate students, and has achieved a solid reputation as one of the premier testing centers in the United States.

The lab's mission is two-fold: to serve as an educational resource for UNH students and to serve commercial vendors working on new technologies that are widely supported and available throughout the industry.

It employs more than 100 UNH undergraduate and graduate students, most of whom are studying engineering or computer science. New and emerging technologies that most universities and corporations won't be implementing or upgrading to for years are used every day by IOL students.

As a result, UNH students with IOL experience are highly sought after in private industry. The lab has a 100 percent student placement rate.

The IOL maintains the largest and most heterogeneous testing network in the world. Over the years, the lab has tested more than two dozen emerging technologies for hundreds of vendors. Current vendors include Agilent Technologies, Cisco Systems, Compaq, Enterasys Networks, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel Corp., Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, NEC, Texas Instruments and Sun Microsystems.

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