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Our people: meet Brett Rosolen, Data Program Manager, eResearch

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Brett Rosolen, Data Program ManagerTell us about your career before AARNet?

One of my very first jobs was installing the first network cabling through the Faculty of Engineering at Sydney University during semester holidays in 1989. To be honest, it was pretty filthy low level work, crawling through the roofs, crevices and bowels of some pretty old buildings, but as a student you take what you can get. I recall on one occasion having to interrupt a reasonably senior academic from his important work so I could install the network into his office. Somewhat crankily he responded with, “And what on earth am I going to use that for??”

How times have changed. Interestingly, and unbeknownst to me at the time, my present day eResearch Director, Peter Elford, was elsewhere in the country doing an installation of his own – laying the foundations for the very first AARNet network. Spooky…

I’ve also had a long stint as the Technical Director for the Wesley Centre (a not-for-profit) in Sydney, and with World Television (a UK PLC) as the Delivery Manager in Australia.

What does your role at AARNet involve?

After fighting with commercially available capacity to deliver postage stamp sized compressed-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life video I was pretty shocked to discover the capability of the AARNet network. Since that time I’ve been involved in projects and initiatives that show what can be done with such great capability.

I’m currently working to focus our community’s attention on the fact that we are entering the age where it’s possible to move a PetaByte of data per day across AARNet4. The investment in eResearch infrastructure has created an amazing national set of capabilities to be leveraged in networks, tools, compute and storage. My role is to ensure that we maintain our relevance to researchers through refinement and evangelism of our technically different services, the promotion of tools and methods to use the network, and the building of a data movement savvy community.

What excites you most about your work?

Seeing our community’s eyes opened and expectations raised about what they can do with a network dedicated for their use. Reading stories about how the collection of national capabilities is delivering for real world research. Working with so many seriously talented movers and shakers within AARNet who get that we are here to use networking as a means for creating better outcomes in research and education. Realising that it’s not the size of your network that counts – it’s what you do with it.

When you’re not working for AARNet?

I have two young kids … enough said?

OK, to elaborate a little – I make wonky cubby houses, sandpits that become vege gardens that become sandpits again, puppet theatres out of leftover juniper boxes (true story, I have photos!). When all’s quiet i.e. they’re in bed, and the weather is kind I very occasionally get to drag the telescope into the backyard and remind myself of our time and place in everything.


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