Brian Carpenter (Internet engineer)

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Brian Edward Carpenter (born 30 May 1946) is a British Internet engineer and past chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Carpenter was born in Leicester, England. He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys, Leicester, Downing College, Cambridge (MA degree in physics) and The University of Manchester (MSc and PhD degree in computer science).[1]

Professional career[edit]

Brian Carpenter spent 25 years from 1971 to 1996 writing software for process control systems at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) and later as head of the networking group there, interrupted by three years teaching undergraduate computer science at Massey University in New Zealand.[2]

Carpenter led the networking group at CERN, from 1985 to 1996. He worked alongside Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau, who invented the World Wide Web, while at CERN.[3] [4]

When Carpenter left CERN, he joined IBM, where he was an IBM Distinguished Engineer working on Internet Standards and Technology between 1997 and 2007. From 1999 to 2001 he was at iCAIR, the international Center for Advanced Internet Research, sponsored by IBM at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Upon leaving iCAIR, he was based in Switzerland, first in Zurich, then Geneva.

In September 2007, Carpenter left IBM for academia, teaching data communication at the University of Auckland,[2] from 2007 until his retirement in 2012.[5] After his retirement, he spend a year as a visiting professor at the Computer Laboratory of Cambridge University, UK. Since then he has been an honorary academic at The University of Auckland and a consultant for Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd..

Carpenter published a professional memoir in 2013.[6]

Carpenter has research interests in Internet protocols, especially the networking and routing layers.[1] He is also interested in the history of computing.[7]

IETF career[edit]

Carpenter has worked on IPv6 and on Differentiated Services, being chair of the DiffServ working group. He served from March 1994 to March 2002 on the Internet Architecture Board, which he chaired for five years. He also served as a Trustee of the Internet Society, and was Chairman of its Board of Trustees for two years until June 2002. In March 2005, he became IETF Chair, a position he held until March 2007.[8]

Selected publications[edit]

  • The other Turing machine, B.E. Carpenter, R.W. Doran, The Computer Journal, 20(3), 1977, pp. 269–279.
  • AM Turing's ACE Report of 1946 and Other Papers, Vol. 10 of Charles Babbage Institute Reprint Series for the History of Computing, B.E. Carpenter, R.W. Doran (eds), MIT Press, 1986.
  • Turing’s Zeitgeist, B.E. Carpenter, R.W. Doran, Chapter 22 in The Turing Guide, Jack Copeland et al. (eds.), ISBN 978-0-19-874783-3, Oxford University Press, 2017, pp 223–231.


  1. ^ a b c Copeland, Jack; Bowen, Jonathan; Sprevak, Mark; Wilson, Robin; et al. (2017). "Notes on Contributors". The Turing Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 476. ISBN 978-0198747833.
  2. ^ a b "Professor Brian Edward Carpenter". New Zealand: University of Auckland. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  3. ^ Gilles, James; Cailliau, Robert (2000). How the Web was Born. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192862073.
  4. ^ Palmer, Sean B.; Berners-Lee, Tim (February–March 2001). "Enquire Manual – In HyperText". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  5. ^ Carpenter, Brian. "Brian Carpenter's home page". New Zealand: University of Auckland. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  6. ^ Carpenter, Brian E. Network Geeks: How they Built the Internet. London: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-1-4471-5025-1.
  7. ^ Carpenter, Brian; Doran, Robert (2017). "Chapter 22 – Turing's Zeitgeist". In Copeland, Jack; et al. (eds.). The Turing Guide. pp. 223–231.
  8. ^ "IESG Past Members". IETF. Retrieved 28 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Harald Tveit Alvestrand
IETF Chair
Succeeded by
Russ Housley