Pankaj Shah Selected to Lead OARnet, OSC's Networking Division

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Feb 14, 2005) — 

The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC)announced today that Pankaj Shah has been chosen as its new OARnet Director. Shah will officially assume the directorship on March 7, 2005.

"We are very excited that we will have a person of Pankaj Shah's stature and talent on our team," said Stan Ahalt, OSC Executive Director. "Pankaj has the skills, background, and organizational capabilities that are exactly what we need for OARnet's future."

Shah returns to OSC after a stint as Marquette University's Director of Infastructure for Information Technology Services. Before that, he was responsible for creating and managing OARnet's Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC-Ohio), which he plans to revitalize upon his return.

"Many of us who have served on OSTEER have worked with Pankaj Shah in the past and eagerly look forward to working with him in the future," said Dorinda Giles, OSTEER Chair and Xavier University Associate Vice President of Information Systems and Services.

Shah cited the establishment of the Third Frontier Network (TFN), the nation's leading state research network, as a major factor in his return. He attributed the support provided by education, government, and businesses from TFN's inception as crucial to its success.

"When you view the TFN project as an 'outsider,' you begin to appreciate it even more, said Shah. "I view this as a model project that other state and regional consortiums could replicate."

Shah plans to expand upon the unprecedented opportunities created by the TFN for Ohio. Through partnerships, he would like to see the state quickly capitalize on the investment through applications, processes and research components. These assets can be leveraged to the benefit of researchers, educators, research grants and economic development through training opportunities and productivity improvements.

"Now that Ohio has this state-of-the-art fiber optics asset and ownership of the network, my goal is to continue forming partnerships, collaborations and alliances statewide and nationally," said Shah. "We must leverage Ohio's investment specifically in education and research areas and more broadly in economic development and job creation."

Focusing on emerging needs in research, education, government and economic development, Shah has identified trends in high-speed data transfer, videoconferencing, wireless and satellite-based networking. He has received National Science Foundation (NSF), state, and private funding for several Internet2-partnered and other networking projects.

According to Shah, the TFN architecture is designed with scalability as a primary consideration. Researchers in all sectors can now collaborate and leverage OSC's high performance computing resources via TFN. He foresees the TFN providing broadband access to test beds and laboratories through Internet peering across the country and the world.

During his previous tenure at OSC, he was an instrumental partner in the Transportable Satellite Internet System, a satellite trailer used for distance learning and special events in rural areas, and at conferences where reliable terrestrial Internet connectivity is unavailable. Shah has developed strong partnerships with industry such as the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC), while enabling technologies in the satellite and wireless arenas.