Brian Carpenter (engineer)

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Brian Edward Carpenter
Carpenter (2013)
Born (1946-05-30) 30 May 1946 (age 77)
Leicester, England
Alma materCambridge University
University of Manchester
OccupationHonorary academic
Known forInternet protocols, IPv6, differentiated services

Brian Edward Carpenter (born 30 May 1946) is a British Internet engineer and a former chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and the Internet Society.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Carpenter was born in Leicester, England, and was educated at the Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester. He earned a master's degree in physics from Downing College at Cambridge University, and MSc and PhD degrees in computer science from The University of Manchester.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Carpenter (2013)

Carpenter spent 25 years, from 1971 to 1996, working at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN). He initially wrote software for process control systems and later served as the head of the networking group from 1985 to 1996, working alongside Robert Cailliau and Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web.[3][4] He took three years off of his CERN career to teach undergraduate computer science at Massey University in New Zealand.[2]

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, 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 spent a year as a visiting professor at the Computer Laboratory of Cambridge University. Since then he has been an honorary academic at The University of Auckland and a consultant for Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

In 2013, Carpenter published a professional memoir called Network Geeks: How They Built the Internet.[6]

Contributions to Internet technology[edit]

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

Carpenter served from March 1994 to March 2002 on the Internet Architecture Board, which he chaired for five years. In 1996, he edited an important memo on the Architectural Principles of the Internet.[8] He has worked on IPv6[9][10][11][12][13] and on differentiated services[14][15] and served as the DiffServ working group chair. 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.[16]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Brian Carpenter; Robert W. Doran (1977). "The Other Turing Machine". The Computer Journal. British Computer Society. 20 (3): 269–279. doi:10.1093/comjnl/20.3.269.
  • 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.
  • Network Geeks: How They Built the Internet. Springer Science & Business Media. 2013. ISBN 9781447150251.
  • "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 c "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. ^ Network Geeks: How They Built the Internet. London: Springer Science & Business Media. 2013. ISBN 9781447150251.
  7. ^ Carpenter, Brian; Doran, Robert (2017). "Chapter 22 – Turing's Zeitgeist". In Copeland, Jack; et al. (eds.). The Turing Guide. pp. 223–231.
  8. ^ B. Carpenter, ed. (June 1996). Architectural Principles of the Internet. Network Working Group. doi:10.17487/RFC1958. RFC 1958. Informational. Updated by RFC 3439.
  9. ^ B. Carpenter; R. Hinden (1 April 2011). Adaptation of RFC 1149 for IPv6. Internet Engineering Task Force. doi:10.17487/RFC6214. ISSN 2070-1721. RFC 6214. Informational. This is an April Fools' Day Request for Comments.
  10. ^ S. Amante; B. Carpenter; S. Jiang; J. Rajahalme (November 2011). IPv6 Flow Label Specification. IETF. doi:10.17487/RFC6437. ISSN 2070-1721. RFC 6437. Proposed Standard. Obsoletes RFC 3697. Updates RFC 2205 and 2460.
  11. ^ B. Carpenter; S. Cheshire; R. Hinden (February 2013). Representing IPv6 Zone Identifiers in Address Literals and Uniform Resource Identifiers. IETF. doi:10.17487/RFC6874. ISSN 2070-1721. RFC 6874. Proposed Standard. Updates RFC 3986.
  12. ^ B. Carpenter; S. Jiang (February 2014). Significance of IPv6 Interface Identifiers. IETF. doi:10.17487/RFC7136. ISSN 2070-1721. RFC 7136. Proposed Standard. Updates RFC 4291.
  13. ^ O. Troan (May 2015). B. Carpenter (ed.). Deprecating the Anycast Prefix for 6to4 Relay Routers. Internet Engineering Task Force. doi:10.17487/RFC7526. BCP 196. RFC 7526. Best Current Practice. Obsoletes RFC 3068 and 6732.
  14. ^ K. Nichols; B. Carpenter (April 2001). Definition of Differentiated Services Per Domain Behaviors and Rules for their Specification. Network Working Group. doi:10.17487/RFC3086. RFC 3086. Informational.
  15. ^ D. Black; S. Brim; B. Carpenter; F. Le Faucheur (June 2001). Per Hop Behavior Identification Codes. Network Working Group. doi:10.17487/RFC3140. BCP 53. RFC 3140. Proposed Standard. Obsoletes RFC 2836.
  16. ^ "IESG Past Members". IETF. Retrieved 28 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Preceded by IETF Chair
Succeeded by