I was born in Tehran, Iran, and first came to the U.S. in 1976 for training as a member of the Iranian Air Force. In the military, I studied radar electronics and learned networking by connecting coaxial cables on the computers used to land jets on aircraft carriers.
As a network infrastructure engineer in Information Services at St. Jude, I know the importance of being well-connected. My job is to ensure that computer networks housed in buildings across our 81-acre campus talk to each other to avoid hiccups in daily operations.
My ideas have always been valued at St. Jude. I enjoy having the freedom to be myself and to do my best work. I was hired as a network engineer in January 2000. My duties included configuring, installing, maintaining and troubleshooting network devices such as switches and routers. It wasn’t long before I began participating in infrastructure planning for major projects.
Since joining St. Jude, I’ve helped build the network infrastructure for three new buildings, our Proton Therapy Center and the St. Jude Data Center, which opened in 2017. Recently, I helped connect two electron microscopes in our Structural Biology Department’s Cryo-EM Center. I’m also working on planning for our new advanced research center as well as working on a project to enhance cellular coverage our campus.
Our buildings need to connect to each other with a robust and reliable communication backbone because of the new technologies, the massive amount of data being produced and the need to transport them. I spend much of my time working with consultants and vendors on large-scale projects, but my job also includes maintenance and upgrades of the network systems.
I designed our campus fiber duct bank system, which involved laying miles of conduits that encircle the campus. This duct bank connects buildings to the Data Center with fiber optic and copper cables. This project was broken into two phases due to its size. The fiber is in conduit in the ground encased within concrete. As long as the campus is standing, it will be there and in use.
My job is exciting because there is always something new. No day is like the previous one. With the current construction we have at St. Jude, I am already working on how to extend our fiber to other parts of our campus.
Behrooz Oliasani is a network infrastructure engineer in Information Services at St. Jude.