UNH InterOperability Lab appoints new director, associate director

Internal promotions highlight UNH alum with IT testing expertise


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The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory, an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance solutions for the networking industry, has appointed Jeff Lapak as executive director. 

Lapak began working at as a UNH electrical engineering undergraduate student in 1998 and continued on to earn his MBA from UNH in 2013. He has previously held the positions of associate director, industry lead and senior manager at the UNH-IOL. In his roles, he has helped oversee development for many physical layer testing technologies such as 10, 25, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, according to a press release by UNH-IOL. 

Lapak will be responsible for facilitating the lab’s development in certification test programs, creating strategic partnerships and leading the lab’s strategic direction across its many technology areas.

Erica Johnson, a fellow UNH alum who had served as director of the UNH-IOL for 10 years, has been appointed chief operating officer at QA Cafe, a software IP test solutions company in Portsmouth that conducts work with the UNH-IOL.

UNH-IOL also appointed Michayla Newcombe to associate director. Newcombe’s responsibilities will expand to assisting in the general oversight of testing groups, working with industry forums and standards bodies to further standards development and providing day-to-day lab support for staff and student employees.

Newcombe started her career at the UNH-IOL in 2012 as a DHCPv6 test technician while she was an undergraduate at UNH. She graduated from UNH in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and continued to work full-time at the UNH-IOL as quality manager for ISO-17025 accreditation. As the manager for the IP industry, Newcombe has recently helped drive the USGv6 and IPv6 Ready Logo Test Programs’ newest programs. With the lab’s recent switch to Agile Methodologies, Newcombe leads several teams within the UNH-IOL, including SDN, IOT and INTACT tool development.

“We are thrilled to have such talented, experienced and hardworking individuals stepping into these management positions at the UNH-IOL,” said Marc Sedam, associate vice provost of innovation and new ventures at UNH and managing director of UNHInnovation, which oversees the UNH-IOL. “The UNH-IOL plays an important role in the UNH community and in the data communications industry, supporting and developing emerging technology while providing students with unique opportunities to build deep technical skills and experience. The UNH-IOL is an incredible example of how UNH regularly helps businesses across the globe with critical strategic decisions and information. Jeff and Michayla are both committed to the UNH-IOL’s mission and vision and the lab will continue to grow and expand under their leadership.”

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