SSST History

A Brief History of the Southeastern Symposium on System Theory (SSST)

In the Spring of 1968, Professor Bill Blackwell, recently appointed head of the Electrical Engineering Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), contacted 20 other electrical engineering department heads throughout the southeastern United States concerning the desirability of a regional conference on system modeling, analysis, simulation and control.  The response was enthusiastic.  After receiving this encouragement, the Electrical Engineering Department at VPI organized and hosted the first Southeastern Symposium on System Theory at its campus, on May 5-6, 1969.  The symposium, which had an attendance of 60, was co-sponsored by the Virginia Mountain Section of the IEEE and held in cooperation with the System Science and Cybernetics Group of the IEEE. The technical program for the first SSST consisted of 24 papers organized into six sessions, and the published proceedings contained 323 typewritten pages in bound form.  During the planning for the first SSST, and in the early meetings of the Steering Committee, it was emphasized that the primary goal of the SSST should be to promote better communications and stronger contacts between faculty members teaching electrical engineering and systems theory courses at universities in the Southeastern United States.  It was hoped that the SSST conference would become a regular forum for faculty and graduate students to exchange ideas.  Particular emphasis was placed upon the importance of graduate student participation.  It was also stressed that the meetings should be held on, or close to, university campuses to afford faculty and students the opportunity to see various departments and activities at the host school.  The following is a list of the founding members of SSST and the schools they represented in 1969:

  1. William A. Blackwell, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia
  2. Cecil O. Alford, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
  3. Chester C. Carroll, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
  4. Robert L. Cosgriff, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
  5. A. L. Duke, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee
  6. Michael R. A. Erdey, Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Alabama
  7. W. Flood, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
  8. Walter L. Green, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
  9. L. L. Grigsby, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia
  10. Paul M. Julich, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana  
  11. Willie L. McDaniels, Jr., Mississippi State College, Mississippi
  12. Tern R. Rao, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
  13. E. A. Reinhard, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University Station, Alabama
  14. J. S. Sells, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
  15. Charles V. Shaffer, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
  16. Clifford M. Siegel, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
  17. Burton H. Wayne, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina

Previous Host Universities

  1. 1969    Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  2. 1970    University of Florida
  3. 1971    Georgia Institute of Technology
  4. 1972    University of Kentucky/University of Louisville
  5. 1973    North Carolina State University/Duke University/University of North Carolina
  6. 1974    Louisiana State University
  7. 1975    Auburn University/Tuskegee University
  8. 1976    University of Tennessee
  9. 1977    University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  10. 1978    Mississippi State University
  11. 1979    Clemson University
  12. 1980    Old Dominion University
  13. 1981    University of Central Florida
  14. 1982    Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  15. 1983    University of Alabama in Huntsville
  16. 1984    Mississippi State University
  17. 1985    Auburn University
  18. 1986    University of Tennessee
  19. 1987    Clemson University
  20. 1988    University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  21. 1989    FAMU/FSU College of Engineering
  22. 1990    Tennessee Technological University
  23. 1991    University of South Carolina
  24. 1992    North Carolina A&T State University
  25. 1993    University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa
  26. 1994    Ohio University
  27. 1995    Mississippi State University
  28. 1996    Louisiana State University
  29. 1997    Tennessee Technological University
  30. 1998    West Virginia University
  31. 1999    Auburn University
  32. 2000    FAMU/FSU College of Engineering
  33. 2001    Ohio University
  34. 2002    University of Alabama in Huntsville
  35. 2003    West Virginia University
  36. 2004    Georgia Tech Research Institute
  37. 2005    Tuskeegee University
  38. 2006    Tennessee Technological University
  39. 2007    Mercer University
  40. 2008    University of New Orleans
  41. 2009    University of Tennessee Space Institute
  42. 2010    University of Texas at Tyler
  43. 2011    Auburn University
  44. 2012    Univ. of North Florida/Florida International Univ.