Information for

John Thistle

Associate Professor, Coordinator, ECE MEng. Program

Contact InformationJohn Thistle

Phone: 519-888-4567 x32910
Location: EIT 3113

Biography Summary

John Thistle is an Associate Professor and co-ordinator for the Master of Engineering Program in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He is currently a member of the Waterloo Formal Methods (WatForm) research group, which studies applications of formal methods in hardware design and software engineering.

Professor Thistle’s research interests include control of discrete event systems, formal synthesis and verification of discrete event systems, and applications to software development. He is also focusing on the decidability and complexity of the synthesis of centralized and distributed controllers. Potential applications occur not only in traditional control engineering areas but also, for example, in the design of distributed software systems.

Research Interests

  • Control Of Discrete Event Systems
  • Formal Synthesis
  • Verification Of Discrete Event Systems
  • Software Development
  • Communication & Information Systems


  • 1991, Doctorate, PhD, University of Toronto
  • 1985, Master's, MASc, University of Toronto
  • 1982, Bachelor's, BSc, Queen's University


  • ECE 124 - Digital Circuits and Systems
  • MATH 213 - Advanced Mathematics for Software Engineers
  • ECE 380 - Analog Control Systems

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Zibaeenejad, Mohammad Hadi and Thistle, John G, Weak invariant simulation and its application to analysis of parameterized networks, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 59(8), 2014, 2024 - 2037
  • Zibaeenejad, Mohammad Hadi and Thistle, John G, Deadlock analysis of generalized parameterized discrete event systems with ring topology, IFAC Proceedings Volumes, 47(2), 2014, 370 - 375
  • Zibaeenejad, MH and Thistle, JG, Dependency graph: an algorithm for analysis of generalized parameterized networks, 2015 American Control Conference (ACC), January 2015, 696 - 702
  • Zibaeenejad, Mohammad Hadi and Thistle, John G, Weak invariant simulation: Properties and algorithms, 2013 American Control Conference, January 2013, 911 - 916