Adjunct Assistant Professor

Contact InformationJohn Simpson-Porco


Biography Summary

John W. Simpson-Porco received the B.Sc. degree in engineering physics from Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada in 2010, and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA in 2015. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada. He was previously a visiting scientist with the Automatic Control Laboratory at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His research focuses on the control and optimization of multi-agent systems and networks, with applications in modernized power grids. Prof. Simpson-Porco is a recipient of the 2012--2014 IFAC Automatica Prize and the Center for Control, Dynamical Systems and Computation Best Thesis Award and Outstanding Scholar Fellowship.

Research Interests

  • Distributed control systems
  • Decentralized control systems
  • Optimal control
  • Smart Grid
  • Microgrids
  • Frequency Control
  • Voltage Control


  • 2015, Doctorate, Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 2010, Bachelor of Science (BSc), Engineering Physics, Queen's University


  • ECE 484 - Digital Control Applications
    • Taught in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • ECE 380 - Analog Control Systems
    • Taught in 2017
  • ECE 780 - Special Topics in Control
    • Taught in 2018, 2019
* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Dörfler, Florian and Simpson-Porco, John W and Bullo, Francesco, Electrical Networks and Algebraic Graph Theory: Models, Properties, and Applications, Proceedings of IEEE, 2018
  • Pirani, Mohammad and Simpson-Porco, John W and Fidan, Baris, System-theoretic performance metrics for low-inertia stability of power networks, arXiv preprint arXiv:1703.02646, 2017
  • Pirani, Mohammad and Hashemi, Ehsan and Fidan, Baris and Simpson-Porco, John W, H∞ Performance of Mechanical and Power Networks, IFAC-PapersOnLine, 50(1), 2017, 5196 - 5201
  • Simpson-Porco, John W and Dörfler, Florian and Bullo, Francesco, Voltage stabilization in microgrids via quadratic droop control, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 62(3), 2017, 1239 - 1253
  • Pirani, Mohammad and Hashemi, Ehsan and Simpson-Porco, John W and Fidan, Baris and Khajepour, Amir, Graph Theoretic Approach to the Robustness of $ k $-Nearest Neighbor Vehicle Platoons, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 18(11), 2017, 3218 - 3224