John Thomas

Staff Researcher Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. John Thomas is on the research staff in the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT. He holds a Ph.D. from MIT in the area of systems engineering, and his bachelor's and master's degrees are in computer engineering. John's work involves creating structured processes for analyzing cyber-physical systems, especially systems that may behave in unanticipated, unsafe, or otherwise undesirable ways through complex interactions with each other and their environment. By using control theory and systems theory, more efficient and effective design and analysis processes can be created to prevent flaws that lead to unexpected and undesirable behaviors when integrated with other systems. More recently he has been applying these techniques to automated systems that are heavily dependent on human-computer interactions to achieve safety and security goals. These automated systems may not only be subject to human error--they may inadvertently induce human error through mode confusion, clumsy automation, and other mechanisms that can be difficult to anticipate. John's work also includes defining a formal structure underlying a systems-theoretic process that can be used to help ensure potentially hazardous or undesirable software behaviors are systematically identified and controlled. He has also developed algorithms to automatically generate formal executable and model-based requirements for software components as well as methods to detect flaws in an existing software specification. The same process can be applied to address security and functional goals of the system, thereby permitting the automated detection of conflicts between these and other goals during early development processes.

Post-conference Workshop Day | Thursday, 2 April 2020

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

11:00 AM WORKSHOP 8 - An introduction to STPA (System Theoretic Process Analysis)

The system theoretic process analysis (STPA) is a much discussed risk and hazard analysis method. As a top-down analysis, STPA emphasizes the system‘s dynamic behavior including automation interactions and human behavior. Join this workshop to get a hands-on approach how to perform STPA and it’s relationship to the safety of the intended functionality.
• Get a summary of the most important aspects of the STPA: basic concepts, terminology, and process will be explained
• Understand the difference between traditional techniques and STPA, and latter‘s advantages
• Apply an exemplary STPA to a limited case study to demonstrate the process

Check out the incredible speaker line-up to see who will be joining John.

Download The Latest Agenda