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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Get To Know LATIS’s Peter Walz

Name: Peter Walz

What is your educational background? A B.S. in Computer Sciences from the University of Minnesota.

When did you start working at UMN? 1998 as a student worker.

What is your current job title and describe what you do ? System Engineer who manages servers, storage, small networks, and the physical spaces in which they reside.

What brought you to your current job?  I had been working in the desktop support team of what was CLA-OIT, and many of the projects that I worked on also involved the server team. I liked working on those projects, so when a position opened up on the server team, I applied for it.

What is your favorite aspect of your job? I enjoy the variety and challenge of the work that is required. One day, I might be doing some programming to automate the installation of a piece of software, and the next day I might be physically setting up server hardware.

Tell us about one of the coolest projects you’ve worked on for your job at the U? Some number of years ago, we moved most of our servers from Anderson and Blegen halls to their current location. Doing so without extended interruptions in service required temporarily extending the networks from Anderson and Blegen, and then performing the physical moves over the course of a few weekends. It was a great example of teamwork and of different IT units cooperating to come up with out-of-the-ordinary solutions.

What is your favorite place on campus?  The Nolte Center - I enjoy the classic architecture and the fact that it normally doesn’t get much foot traffic. The dining hall and lounge are nice spaces to sit and study in.

What was your worst or most unusual job? I’ve only had two employers to date, so I have a limited number of “worst jobs” to choose. The most unusual might have been cleaning and maintaining AV equipment for a school district - anything from overhead projectors to film projectors.

People may be surprised to know: I hold a commercial driver’s license and may drive any single-unit vehicle, including buses. Also, I have been to the Minnesota State Fair every year since I was a year old.