3 Questions with Kapil Agrawal

Kapil Agrawal. Juniper the cat was unavailable to photograph.

Kapil Agrawal comes to us from National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), where he worked as a Network Engineer focusing on HPC data center networking and all things automation. Before that, Kapil worked as a Network Engineer at GlobalNOC focusing on service provider networking for regional R&E networks. He is passionate about learning and tinkering with new open source technologies in his home lab, intense hackathons, and infrastructure-as-code. In his downtime, Kapil enjoys high intensity interval training, traveling and exploring new places, competitive gaming, and playing with Juniper (his cat).

Kapil Agrawal. Juniper the cat was unavailable to photograph.

What brought you to ESnet?

ESnet’s mission to innovate, build, and support a bleeding edge network infrastructure for scientific computing, empowers researchers to focus on what’s core to them—the science. This is very exciting but it also comes with challenges in terms of security. We want to be open to share the science with our collaborators, but not too open to the point where bad actors take advantage of us. Where does one draw the line? That is the challenge and that’s what makes cyber security in scientific computing so interesting! I am also familiar with the innovative work that ESnet security does for the R&E community and I am excited about the opportunity to learn and grow with the team and to give back to the community in every way possible. 

What is the most exciting thing going on in your field right now?

Coming from a networking background, I find MANRS (Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security) very exciting. It’s a herculean effort by the larger networking community to secure the global internet routing infrastructure. 

What book would you recommend?

Books in the order from non-technical to most technical : Atomic Habits, The Phoenix project, Where Wizards stay up late (The origins of the internet), and Internet routing architectures.

Apply for the 2022 Women in IT Networking at SC program and help build SCInet!

The Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program is now accepting applications from US-based early- to mid-career women for their 2022 program. Those selected for the program will be given full travel funding to attend the Supercomputing Conference (SC) in Dallas, TX from November 13-18, 2022, where they’ll have a chance to help construct SCinet, a unique multi-terabit-per-second network built annually to support demonstrations by SC attendees.

The WINS program was developed in 2015 to combat the gender gap in the network engineering and high performance computing fields.  WINS is a joint effort between the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and works collaboratively with the SC program committee.

What the program entails

If selected for the program, you’ll be matched with a SCinet team and a high-profile mentor based on your interests and background. You’ll also get to dive in and work side-by-side with top engineers building SCinet.

Those selected for the program will also receive: 

  • Travel funds for attending staging, setup, and live support of the SC conference as a SCinet volunteer.
  • Complimentary conference registration
  • Professional development support before, during, and after the conference

Who should apply

Early- and mid-career engineers and technologists who: 

  • Want to work side-by-side with the world’s leading network, software, and systems engineers and top network technology vendors.
  • Identify as women at the time of application.
  • Are able to travel to Dallas, TX during the following dates (assuming COVID doesn’t interfere):
    • SCinet Staging: Oct. 20-28, 2022
    • SCinet Setup: Nov. 7-13, 2022
    • SCinet Live Operations/SC22 Conference and SCinet teardown: Nov 13-19, 2022

WINS is especially interested in applications from historically underrepresented groups in the Information Technology field, including Black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latinx women. 

Learn more and submit your application here. Applications are due by January 21, 2022, at 11:59 pm. If you want to participate in SCinet but don’t fit the above criteria, you can contact SCinet to learn more about other volunteer opportunities