Three questions with a new staff member! Today, Joseph (Joe) Nasal, who has joined our Business Office as a Project Manager.
After graduating from Temple University, Joe began his career designing broadband Radio Frequency-hybrid fiber networks and management software for some of the first residential cable modem deployments in the country. Early on, he also worked in defense and designed and operated private secure communications networks for federal contractors. He spent the past two decades supporting higher education through roles in engineering, technical architecture, project management, and leadership. His work helped transform data communication at Pennsylvania State University, preparing the campus for tremendous growth in teaching and research.
What brought you to ESnet?
I’ve been architecting and managing very large communication network design and implementation projects for most of my career. After nearly 20 years at Penn State, it was time for a career change. One of my close colleagues recently came to ESnet in support of Science Engagement, and when I learned through him of an opportunity to help with such exciting and important growth on a national scale I was very happy to find a place in the organization. I’ll be operating out of my home office in State College, PA.
What is the most exciting thing going on in your field right now?
In data communications, it’s about getting more for less—more throughput, more distance, more fidelity, for less cost. Cost is measured in units like dollars, or time, or energy, or human effort, and those of us who work in this space are always trying to optimize these resources. This is an exciting time because it seems like we’re on the cusp of training machines to give us a magnitude leap forward in efficiencies via automated processes and learning algorithms. But it’s going to take clear human vision to get us to where we want to be, which means as engineers, we will continue to have fun solving big problems.
What book would you recommend?
The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, a biography of Paul Erdős. Paul was one of the great mathematicians of the 20th century whose work has implications for both computer science and information theory. He was an eccentric genius and his personal story is a fascinating one to follow. As engineers, I think it’s important to be aware of and appreciate the great thinkers who exist at the very base level of abstraction with respect to the technologies we use and build upon.