Wil M.P. van der Aalst (born 29 January 1966) is a Dutch computer scientist, and professor at the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, where he chairs the Architecture of Information Systems group, His research and teaching interests include information systems, workflow management, Petri nets, process mining, specification languages, and simulation, and he is known for his work on workflow patterns.
Van der Aalst was born on 29 January 1966, in Eersel in The Netherlands. He has received a MSc in computing science in 1988 at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e), and a PhD in mathematics in 1992 with the thesis "Timed colored Petri nets and their application to logistics" under supervision of prof.dr. J. Wessels and prof.dr. K.M. van Hee.
In 1992 he started working at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven as an assistant professor for the department of Mathematics and Computing Science, where he headed the Specification and Modeling of Information systems (SMIS) research group. 2000 to 2003 he became a part-time full professor at the Computing Science department. And from 2000 to 2006 he was head of the Information Systems department at the Technology Management department of TU/e. Since 2006 he is full professor at the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science of the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, where he chairs the Architecture of Information Systems (AIS) group. He also has a part-time appointment in the BPM group of Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
He has been a visiting professor on at Karlsruhe University (AIFB), the University of Georgia (LSDIS), Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (WI-II), the University of Colorado (CTRG), Queensland University of Technology (CITI), and the Aarhus University (DAIMI).
He is associate editor for several journals, including "IEEE Transactions on Services Computing", "IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics", "International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management", "International Journal on Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures", "Computers in Industry", and "Transactions on Petri Nets and Other Models of Concurrency".
He is series Editor of "Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing" (LNBIP) by Springer, member of the editorial board of "Distributed and Parallel Databases" and "Business and Information Systems Engineering", and member of several steering committees, including "International Conference Series on Business Process Management" (chair), "International Conference Series on Application and Theory of Petri nets" and "International Workshop Series on Web Services and Formal Methods".
Van der Aalst's research interest is in the fields of information systems, business process management, simulation, Petri nets, process models, workflow management systems, verification techniques, process mining, enterprise resource planning systems, computer supported cooperative work, webservices, business process redesign, resource allocation and interorganizational business processes.
He is a strong supporter of open-source software. He initiated and led the development of:
He also initiated the Workflow Patterns initiative. The Workflow Patterns website is visited by hundreds of researchers and practitioners each day and this work influenced industry standards such as the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), etc. Van der Aalst's ideas have also influenced various widely used commercial software tools such as Flower, Protos, Futura Reflect, Staffware, WebSphere, and ARIS.
Articles, a selection: