UNH's InterOperability Laboratory makes sure latest innovations work
For 25 years, the independent test site for new networking technologies has been employing students, working with industry leaders from IBM to Microsoft and bringing engineers and company representatives from around the world into Durham.
"Our work here is always exciting, but we're really thrilled to share what we do with the broader UNH and New Hampshire community," UNH-IOL director Erica Johnson said.
Cisco started using the UNH-IOL around 2003, and senior product manager Ric Chavez said at that time the IOL was really establishing itself as an industry leader.
"We know there is a real return on our investment," Chavez said.
Cisco has 19 separate districts that pay out of their own budgets for memberships to the IOL.
"The business model of bringing in students is key to the work," he said, because Cisco knows they can manage the scale of testing they need.
"Those 100 products literally represent some of Cisco's highest revenue products," Chavez said. "We don't do it just for fun. This is real business for Cisco."
There is a plan in the works to move the UNH-IOL downtown, where it will be more visible and where Durham's amenities will be more accessible to the many visiting engineers and company representatives that use the lab.
It provides a good, full-time summer job for students and flexible opportunities during the academic year.
"Most students get jobs before they even graduate and when they go to industry they don't need to be trained," Russell said.
UNH sophomore Jeremy Hochschwender, 19, of Rye, chose to attend UNH because of the IOL, and began working there the summer before he began college.
He said it has been an "amazing experience" working with different mobile technology companies on emerging technologies and expects to work in the field when he graduates.