Technology and Security - the ICCST.

History of the ICCST

The International Carnahan Conference on Security Technology is by far the longest running conference on security in the world.  It has been held all over the world, every year, beginning in 1967.

The Carnahan House at the University of Kentucky

The Carnahan House at the University of Kentucky

The background and history of the conference is always published in the first few pages of the Conference Proceedings, so a summary is presented here.  It all started in Lexington, Kentucky in the USA.  The name ‘Carnahan’ comes from the Carnahan House, which was the University of Kentucky’s conference center.  In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson launched his so-called ‘war on crime’.  Professor Robert Cosgriff, Chairman of the University of Kentucky’s Department of Engineering, decided to respond to the President’s ‘war’ by holding a conference on electronic crime countermeasures.  It was a local meeting and held at the Carnahan House in April, 1967.  Although the first conference was only a small gathering, the meeting was a measurable success and the following year was convened as a national, US-wide event, sponsored by the Lexington Chapter of IEEE and the Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society of the IEEE.  These two sections of IEEE remained sponsors of the conference, and have played this role, right up to the present day.  The ICCST was one of the IEEE’s first forays into supporting technical conferences.  The IEEE itself has existed only for only four years longer than the ICCST.

The Carnahan Conference soon became a popular international event.  The first conference outside the US was held in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1973, followed, a few years later, by one in Oxford, England.

The next major milestone occurred in 1991 when Taiwan enthusiastically joined the Conference.  The Chun Shan Institute of Science and Technology and the National Chiao-Tung University, both of Taipei, were warmly welcomed to the Executive Committee as permanent sponsors.  In 2003, the National Central University replaced the Chiao-Tung University as sponsor.  It is an honor that the Taiwanese government chose the ICCST, from many others, to support and in which to play an active role.

The conference has also been held in Germany, Australia, Taiwan, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Spain, including the Canary Islands, and Canada. Our conference in Boston in 2012 was the 31st in the USA!  Many of those have been held in Lexington, Kentucky.

Like any self respecting conference, the Carnahan Conference includes social activities.  the ICCST annual conferences usually includes an awards banquet, often held at some spectacular venue away from the conference facility itself, a program for the partners of the attendees and an annual golf tournament which Dr. Gordon Thomas and Mr. Jack Veatch initiated, actually at St Andrews, Scotland, in 1995.

The Carnahan Conference is overseen and managed by an Executive Committee which comprises twenty members from countries all over the world.  The newest members are from the USA, Barcelona (Spain), Colombia and Italy, the venue for the 2014 ICCST.  Dr. Gordon L. Thomas (UK) is the current chairman of the Executive Committee and General Chairman and Larry Sanson (US) is the immediate past chairman.  Dr. Daniel A. Pritchard is the Deputy Chairman.

In 2016, the ICCST will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Conference!  Join us in a retrospective of fifty years of security technology!