Canadian University Students Are Put to the Test at the ‘CENGN-TELUS-Juniper Throwdown’ Competition

Ottawa, Canada, August 18, 2016 – CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (NGN), a leader in the rapid commercialization of NGN products, applications and services, is today hosting the TELUS-Juniper “Throwdown” Competition. After a full week of hard work, eight teams of students from five different universities have come together to compete for not only prizes but recognition in the industry for their Software Defined Networking (SDN) innovation and solutions.

Juniper Networks, an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, and TELUS, (TSX: T, NYSE: TU), Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, have paired with CENGN to host their SDN/Network Automation competition. And with the backdrop of the Olympics, competitive spirits could not be better.

The overall goal of the competition is to facilitate an industry-related real-world educational experience for the students that complements their core programming and networking skills obtained academically. These students have an opportunity to showcase their talents to top companies in the industry and are empowered to deliver new innovative approaches to SDN-based solutions.

At the competition kickoff, the students were tasked with using the Juniper Networks® NorthStar Controller, a WAN SDN controller, to develop a solution to optimize network paths to preserve application performance in the midst of unpredictable network conditions. The students received comprehensive training on SDN technology, including how SDN will change network architectures and services as well as a platform overview of the technology they will be using on the system. Students were provided guidance and one-on-one coaching from TELUS and Juniper Networks representatives in order to help develop their solutions for the competition. Each student team also had access to a personal development “sandbox” in OpenLab, Juniper’s Center for Innovation, to build and test their applications.

Today the students will present their solution pitches to the Judging Team represented by TELUS, Juniper Networks, SDN Essentials, and IHS Markit Technology. Each team’s idea will be judged based on an array of criteria including the student team’s understanding and representation of the problem, the value of the proposed solution, and overall presentation and demonstration quality. In the end, many students will be most excited to meet Juniper and TELUS HR/University Relations Representatives that will be available to discuss future career opportunities.

According to Ritch Dusome, President and CEO of CENGN, providing these opportunities as well as competitions like the TELUS-Juniper Throwdown to students is critical to the growth of the networking technology sector in Canada. In fact, helping students develop industry relevant training is a main focus for CENGN. Last year CENGN trained and certified over 216 students and industrial employees in key next-generation networking technologies including SDN/NFV and Junipers JNCIA-Junos Certification.

“Networks are evolving rapidly as open standards and software play an increasing and more important role in this industry,” said Ritch Dusome, President and CEO of CENGN.  “This directly impacts the talent required by NGN companies, and creates demand for new expertise in SDN and NFV.  Competitions such as the TELUS-Juniper Throwdown equip students with hands-on experience in these cutting-edge technologies, increasing their value to future employers.  More broadly, these training events enable CENGN and its partners to work together to build a pipeline of future NGN industry leaders.”

“OpenLab is a global resource created primarily to spark new ideas for network innovation through education, collaboration and exploration. The Throwdown is one of our core educational offerings that leverages our SDN lab assets and represents an exceptional hands-on experience for the participating students,” said Jerry Passione, general manager, OpenLab, at Juniper Networks. “We’re excited to be partnering with both TELUS and CENGN on the program. This represents the third Throwdown that has been offered over the last year in Canada and it highlights our commitment to providing the next generation of networking professionals with the experience and guidance they need for future career success.”

About CENGN – Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), is a consortium of industry, academic and research leaders dedicated to accelerating the commercialization of next generation communications solutions. CENGN’s internationally recognized testing centre employs interoperability between multiple software and hardware products. Our state of the art physical and virtual multi-vendor, test, certification and validation platform provides a unique environment to commercialize advanced products, applications and services. Members include: Cisco, EWA Canada, EXFO, Fujitsu, Invest Ottawa, Juniper, Nokia, Rogers, TELUS, Viavi, Wind River, and Zayo. For more information, visit

About Telus – TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $12.6 billion of annual revenue and 12.4 million subscriber connections, including 8.4 million wireless subscribers, 1.4 million residential network access lines, 1.6 million high-speed Internet subscribers and 1.0 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $440 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 6.8 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ 11 Canadian community boards and 4 International boards have led the Company’s support of grassroots charities and have contributed more than $54 million in support of over 4,900 local charitable projects, enriching the lives of more than 2 million children and youth, annually. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition. For more information about TELUS, please visit

Media Contact
Sonya Shorey
Communications Strategist
Cell: 613.851.9416

Follow us @CENGNCanada

Return to Information Centre

About the Author

CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, drives technology innovation and industry growth through our testbed, technical expertise, talent development, and partner ecosystem. Through our projects, CENGN enables small and medium Canadian Enterprises to test and validate promising technologies, removing barriers to product commercialization and accelerating market growth.

More by CENGN

CENGN updates, in your inbox.

  • Fields marked with an * are required.