Meet Kevin O’Donnell: Network Engineer

Monday, December 11, 2023
About Kevin: As a Network Engineer, Kevin plays a pivotal role on the NGN team, contributing his expertise to shape the future of Yale’s network. He joins the project from a background in educational IT and with a passion for networking and WiFi, which make him well-suited for his role. He views his work as not just a job but a fortunate opportunity to focus on what he enjoys doing in a remarkable environment like Yale. 
Kevin’s Journey with NGN: With four years of dedicated service, Kevin serves as the Lead Wireless Engineer, overseeing the design and implementation of NGN’s WiFi infrastructure and managing the wireless implementation team. His responsibilities include creating a wireless environment that is advanced, secure, and adaptable. What keeps Kevin excited about his work with the NGN team is the cutting-edge technology underpinning the project. As a devoted technologist, he relishes the opportunity to contribute to such an advanced and robust network. Kevin’s biggest piece of advice is simple: “Bugs happen, it will be ok.” It’s a reminder that in the world of technology, challenges are part of the journey. 
Tech Enthusiast: When asked about the most exciting innovation the NGN project introduces to Yale’s campus, Kevin highlights the dynamic security and traffic separation capabilities of NGN WiFi. He explains it with this example – “Two people can be sitting right next to each other, connected to YaleSecure but be on entirely different network segments.” This feature, while not visible to users, is a significant advancement, enabling diverse applications and network configurations that will set Yale’s network apart. 
Pride in the Project: For Kevin, one of his proudest achievements is simply being a part of the NGN project since its early stages. Witnessing the project’s vision come to life is a source of immense satisfaction. 
Beyond the Office: Outside of work, Kevin is a talented musician, actively playing rock ‘n roll and jazz bass. Off campus, you’ll likely find him pursuing his musical interests. On campus, he enjoys playing squash at PWG (Payne Whitney Gym). Kevin’s interests extend to modern novels, pro tennis, Merchant-Ivory films, and the music of Bill Evans. Kevin’s literary passion is evident as he’s read Moby Dick five times and he’s “not done yet.” 
Favorite Campus Spots: Kevin’s favorite places on campus are the Art Gallery and the Beinecke Library, where he can immerse himself in art and literature.