Welcome to the Software Technologies and Applied Research (STAR) Lab

Data and code
Creating software solutions for complex applications and systems.

The Software Technologies Applied Research (STAR) lab is a practice-oriented software engineering research laboratory, located in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Our overall objective is to design and implement new methodologies and tools to develop software systems with a higher quality in a cost-effective manner.

Automated software development is key to improving programmer productivity, product quality, reduced maintenance costs, and enhanced application performance. Our research group investigates ways to realize practical, domain-specific component-based design methodologies for large scale application synthesis.

Research activities at the STAR lab reflect two complementary themes: a scientific approach to understand complex software systems, and an engineering focus on the ability to control, modify, and design such software systems. The research spans the topics of:

  • program understanding,
  • reverse engineering,
  • feature-oriented software designs,
  • extensible software systems (software that is easy to extend in order to match the customized needs of application requirements), adaptive software systems (software that reconfigures itself periodically to maximize performance),
  • software architectures (building customized applications from components), and
  • object-oriented design patterns.


Today, fifty-four new Fellows were elected to the Canadian Academy of Engineering - one of those new Fellows is University of Waterloo electrical and computer engineering professor, Ladan Tahvildari.

Professor Tahvildari is a global expert in software quality addressing challenging problems related to the architecture, security, and testing of dependable systems. She pioneers techniques and tools that aid with the construction, analysis, and maintenance of large-scale software systems, leading the way to outsmarting cybersecurity threats. By creating strategic linkages between academia and industry, she is cultivating and strengthening Canada’s talent in the field. Elected twice, for two consecutive terms, Tahvildari is the first woman and second Canadian, to serve as Chair of the IEEE CS Technical Community on Software Engineering – the world's largest professional organization devoted to computer science.

Congratulations to electrical and computer engineering professor Ladan Tahvildari, who was recently elected Chair for a second two-year term of the  IEEE Computer Society TCSE. She is the first woman, and only the second member from Canada, to chair the organization after holding numerous positions within the IEEE.