Photo of ARPA-E Program Director Dr. Olga Blum Spahn

Dr. Olga Blum Spahn

Dr. Olga Blum Spahn currently serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Her focus at ARPA-E is on grid resiliency, power management and distribution, aviation and instrumentation for harsh environments leveraging optical and semiconductor device technologies.

Before joining ARPA-E, Dr. Spahn managed Advanced and Exploratory Systems at Sandia National Laboratories where she oversaw new system development and technology maturation activities for Nuclear Deterrence applications. Prior to that, she managed the Semiconductor Material and Device Sciences department where she focused on advancement of wide- and ultrawide- bandgap semiconductor devices and applications, which earned an R&D 100 Award. Her experience as a principal investigator spans technology development for nuclear non-proliferation, photonics and optoelectronics, optical MEMS, and laser material processing. 

Spahn holds her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley. She has published more than 90 publications, holds 3 patents, and is a co-author of several book chapters.