hISTELCON 2019 - Milestones in Technology History

Technology and Innovation Centre, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland
18th & 19th September 2019

Photo - Squinty Bridge, Glasgow

HISTELCON 2019 has ended but this website is maintained as a record of this successful event.


HISTELCON (HISTory of ELectrotechnology CONference) is a flagship biennial-conference of the IEEE Region 8 and this was the 6th event to take place. HISTELCON 2019 took place in the IEEE UK and Ireland Section, in Glasgow, Scotland.

The primary theme was ‘historic computers’ with an aim to include papers on those inventions and developments which have not already been the subject of extensive historical publications, and to include the contribution special purpose processors have made to the development and use of advanced digital signal processing methods in many applications areas. Sessions also covered other aspects of technology history in the electrical, electronic and related fields.

In accordance with the traditions of previous HISTELCONs, the conference invited keynote lectures as well as submitted, reviewed contributions. Among the computer topics included the history of the F100L and the Viper microprocessor, the Mascot real-time software design method, the Transputer, the ARM computer designs, and the impact of digital signal processing microprocessors including the TMS 320 for the implementation of very sophisticated signal processing algorithms.

Conference Chair

Conference Chair

Prof Anthony Davies

Conference Chair

Programme Chair

Prof Marwan Al-Akaidi

Chair of Local Organising Committee

Local Chair

Dr James Irvine


18th September (Day 1)

09:00 - 09:45 | Conference Registration, level 9 of TIC with refreshments

09:45 | Conference opens

09:55 - 10:25 | Keynote 1: Early Studies on the Standardisation of Unit of Electrical Resistance (the Ohm) - Peter Grant (University of Edinburgh)

10:25 | Session W1

10:30-10:55 | The Key role of Giovanni Giorgi in Developing the MKSA System of Units - Stefano Selleri, Stefano Maddio, Giuseppe Pelosi, Fabrizio Frezza (Italy)

11:00-11:25 | Pioneering work on low power low voltage CMOS technology and design performed in Switzerland, 1966 – 1980 - Hugo Wyss (Switzerland)

11:25-11:45 | Short break

11:45-12:10 | Recent Outcomes of the Investigations on Guglielmo Marconi's Supposed Experiments in Switzerland - Stefano Selleri and Giuseppe Pelosi (Italy)

12:10-12:30 | Overview of the IEEE History Milestone Scheme with examples - Antonio Savini, IEEE History Committee member and University of Pavia (Italy)

12:30-14:00 | Lunch

14:00 - 14:35 | Keynote 2: DSP is also hardware - Gene Frantz (Rice University, Houston Texas. USA, formerly Texas Instruments Principal Fellow)

14:35 | Session W2

14:40-15:05 | The VIPER Microprocessor - Clive Pygott (UK)

15:10-15:35 | F100-L - Ferranti's innovative 16-bit microprocessor - Ed Spittles and Richard Evans (UK)

15:35-16:10 | Short break

16:15-16:40 | The Evolution of Digital Signal Processors - Dogan Ibrahim (Turkey) and Anthony Davies (UK)

16:45-17:10 | History of Pocket Computers 1980-2000 - Roland Saam (UK)

17:15-17:20 | Round up discussion and general announcements

18:00 | Social event at Glasgow City Chambers hosted by Lord Provost of Glasgow

19th September (Day 2)

09:30 | Conference opens with refreshments

10:00 - 10:35 | Keynote 3: Early Ferranti computers and UK defence applications including GCHQ - Simon Lavington (Computer Historian, Emeritus Professor, Essex University)

10:35 | Session TH1A

10:45-11:10 | Early Israeli Computers - Jacob Baal-Shem (Israel) – presented by Mike Geselowitz

11:15-11:40 | Czechoslovak Computer School - Petr Golan, Marcela Efmertová and Tomáš Konečný (Czech Republic)

11:40-12:00 | Short break

12:05-12:30 | History of Computer for Digital Real-Time Simulator of Power Systems - Hiroshi Suzuki and Hisao Taoka (Japan)

10:35 | Session TH2A

10:45-11:10 | A Brief History of Fault Location in Transmission Lines - Luis de Andrade (Portugal)

11:15-11:40 | Computations Before Computers: Vladimir Karapetoff’s Kinematic Computing Devices - Valery Shilov and Sergey Silantiev (Russia)

11:40-12:00 | Short break

12:05-12:30 | Tinkerers Ever to Chance: Engineers, Computers, and the Rise of Probablistic Thinking - Michael Geselowitz (USA)

12:30-12:50 | Level 9. In Recognition of Centenary of formation of WES: "The untold story of some amazing women in computing" - Carol Marsh & Nina Baker

12:50-14:10 | Lunch

14:00 - 14:35 | Keynote 4: The Early Days of Medical Ultrasound Imaging with Particular Reference to Developments in Glasgow - Tony Whittingham (retired, a former President of the British Medical Ultrasound Society [BMUS])

14:45 | Session TH2C

14:45-15:10 | History of Morita's Development of Computer Control Mechanism for Fire Ladder Trucks - Shuji Seki, Naohisa Sakamoto, Akihisa Yamada and Isao Shirakawa (Japan))

15:15-15:40 | How Interactive Video Games Helped Shape the Modern Computer World - Mark Baer and Jason Hui (USA)

15:40-16:15 | Short break

16:20 | Session TH2E

16:20-16:45 | Harry Huskey and the Bendix G-15: A Student's Perspective - Ed Owen (USA)

16:50-17:15 | Claude Shannon's Personal Computer - Alexander Magoun (USA)

17:15-17:30 | Round up discussion, votes of thanks and general announcements

17:30 | Close of HISTELCON 2019

Free Social/networking with light refreshments with the incoming attendees of WESYP2019 in the cafe on level 2 of the TIC building (the street entrance level)

IEEE HISTELCON 2019 and the IEEE UK and Ireland Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group recognised the centenary of the founding of the Women's Engineering Society (WES) on 23rd June 2019.
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  • Organising Committee
  • Tony Davies - Conference Chair (UK)
  • Marwan Al-Akaidi - Technical Programme Chair (UK)
  • Adam Jastrzebski - Treasurer (UK)
  • Nick Wainwright - Web Manager (UK)
  • James Irvine - Chair of Local Organising Committee (UK)
  • Committee Members
  • Roland Saam (UK)
  • Jacob Baal-Schem (IL)
  • John Liffen (UK)
  • Pierre Mounier-Kuhn (FR)
  • Graeme Gooday (UK)
  • Bill Buchanan (UK)
  • Elena Helerea (RO)
  • Nina Borisova (RU)
  • Antonio Savini (IT)
  • Isao Shirakawa (JP)
  • Supporting Representatives
  • Isobel Falconer - British Society for the History of Mathematics
  • Troy Astarte - British Society for the History of Mathematics
  • Martin Campbell-Kelly - Computer Conservation Society
  • Andrew Herbert - National Museum of Computing
  • Emilie Tesinska - Institute of Contemporary History (CZ)
  • Liesbeth Demol - Commission for the History and Philosophy of Computing (FR)
  • Elisabetta Mori - LEO Computers Society


HISTELCON 2019 Supporting organisations