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SKYTRAC #YoungTalent Series: Luka Djurasovic, Ottawa-Based Network Administrator

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SKYTRAC’s Network Administrator Luka Djurasovic’s IT career may have begun when he graduated from Seneca College in 2018, but his interest and knack for all things computers have been lifelong (a trait he shares with his father who also worked in the IT industry). Initially, Djurasovic pursued his interest in computers by enrolling in York University’s Bachelor of Computer Engineering program in Toronto. After a year in the program, he pivoted into Seneca College’s Computer Networking and Technical Support diploma program. 

During my year at York University, I learned about hardware and software design, computation, and system design, amongst other things. While fascinating, the program was highly theoretical, and I barely handled computers. At Seneca College, I gained practical, hands-on training in networking, operating systems, security, and more, most of which I use daily at SKYTRAC.

Soon after graduating, with his experience working at a Toronto IT firm, Djurasovic landed a contract with MD Financial. This not only gave him experience in a large corporate setting, but also enabled him to be closer to family by relocating to Ottawa. In his nine months at MD Financial, Djurasovic administered Microsoft Active directory, provided daily Tier 2 support for end-users regarding software and hardware issues, and led the upgrading or decommissioning of outdated virtual machines for security purposes.

Working at MD Financial, I realized that I prefer working at agile companies where I can make improvements quickly without bureaucracy. That’s what prompted me to apply to SKYTRAC, which is known for its innovative culture. I was working at another IT company before I heard back from SKYTRAC. Soon after I joined SKYTRAC, unfortunately that organization went belly under due to a cybersecurity issue. The serendipity and timing of events confirmed to me that I was making the right decision joining SKYTRAC.

Entering Aviation with SKYTRAC

While Djurasovic did not foresee himself working in aviation as an IT professional, he joined SKYTRAC as a Network Administrator in November 2020. He began in a combined role where he spent 60% of his time in the IT department and 40% of his time in the Client Services department. In this unique role, Djurasovic could leverage both aspects of his diploma – Computer Networking and Technical Support. With SKYTRAC’s rapid growth and its maturing IT needs, Djurasovic has since transitioned into a complete IT dedicated role as the Network Administrator.

The modest size of SKYTRAC’s IT department convinced me that I could dip my toes into countless different projects and technologies I had not yet worked with. This meant I could advance my knowledge and skills here. The opportunity to work with someone knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled, like SKYTRAC’s Network Manager, Steve LePage, was a bonus.

SKYTRAC's IT Team ATVing on the Mountain

SKYTRAC’s IT Team. Danny Schenk, Steve LePage, and Luka Djurasovic from left to right.

As SKYTRAC’s Ottawa-based Network Administrator, it is never a quiet day for Djurasovic, who makes sure SKYTRAC’s computer networks are secure and working smoothly to meet the organization’s needs. Djurasovic engages in a swath of activities to maintain and troubleshoot computer networks and ensure network security. He is also the Ottawa team’s first point of contact for any IT issues, an aspect of his job that he quite enjoys as he loves interfacing with and supporting people. Combining his astute problem-solving skills with an approachable personality, Djurasovic is invaluable to the team.

One of my most notable moments here was supporting SKYTRAC’s expansion by setting up the technological infrastructure for the Ottawa office. We had to route cables from the roof, which was eight stories high, something I had never done before, while appeasing strict building management. It was a good challenge and was nice to get out from behind the desk.

In 2020, SKYTRAC opened an office in downtown Ottawa to support the development of SKYTRAC’s Autonomous Distress Tracking (ADT) solution to meet demanding technical requirements for the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 2023 Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) mandate. SKYTRAC now has offices in Kelowna, Victoria, and Ottawa.

Djurasovic recently visited the SKYTRAC headquarters in Kelowna, where he began training on SKYTRAC’s hardware. With this knowledge, he will eventually support clients with onsite troubleshooting.

I enjoy working with SKYTRAC and am excited to continue my growth here. It’s a dynamic environment where you aren’t narrowed down. Two years at SKYTRAC is like 20 years elsewhere in terms of exposure to new things. With my experience here, I can make an informed decision on the next steps in my career.

A Polymath's Passions

Djurasovic is multifaceted in not only his professional skills but also his personal interests. He claims, “if something exists as a hobby, I am most likely interested.” Although difficult to pin down only a few interests, he is currently enjoying the summer with outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and canoeing. While most others drive to the city over the weekend, Djurasovic takes a two-hour drive from Ottawa to the Algonquin Provincial Park. For those in the area, he recommends camping at McManus Lake.

Having successfully referred his friend Julia Bicknell to SKYTRAC, Djurasovic put his referral bonus towards a 3D printer which he has been experimenting with to engineer various things like a collection of cut out engines. Putting together his interest in design and working with things hands-on, Djurasovic also recently built a brick barbeque for his parents, as seen below. 

As we wrapped up the discussion and photographed him for the feature, Djurasovic commented on how the cloudy day made for good lighting, revealing photography as yet another one of his interests. With SKYTRAC, Djurasovic can not only grow his professional skills but also make time to hone his wide range of other talents. 

A hand constructed built barbeque in a backyard

SKYTRAC’s #YoungTalent Series focuses on bright young minds who are just starting their aerospace careers. For career opportunities, please visit skytrac.ca/careers

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