Andrew J. Lohn

Photo of Andrew Lohn
Information Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in electrical engineering, University of California Santa Cruz; B.Eng. in engineering physics, McMaster University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Andrew Lohn is an engineer at the RAND Corporation and a professor of public policy at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He works primarily in areas of technology policy, often within a national or global security context. His approaches tend to be technically oriented involving proof-of-principle demonstrations, mathematical and computational modeling, or data-intensive methodologies. Prior to joinng RAND he built a nanotechnology lab at NASA, was a visiting researcher at Hewlett-Packard Labs, a post-doc at Sandia National Labs, and started two companies to commercialize his nanotechnologies for energy generation. He was named among the top 150 engineering graduates from McMaster University for Canada's 150th anniversary and has received awards for research excellence from the American Physical Society, American Vacuum Society, and SPIE among others. His work has received wide coverage in both technical spheres such as MIT Technology Review, TechCrunch, and Gizmodo as well as policy arenas such as Foreign Policy, BBC, and Politico. In addition to his technical reports, he has written 50 peer reviewed articles and has had 5 patents awarded. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Selected Publications

Andrew J. Lohn, Patrick R. Mickel, Conrad D. James, Matthew J. Marinella, "Isothermal Switching and Detailed Filament Evolution in Memristive Systems," Advanced Materials, 26(26), 2014

Andrew J. Lohn, Elaine Coleman, Gary S. Tompa, Nobuhiko P. Kobayashi, "Assessment on Thermoelectric Power Factor in Silicon Nanowire Networks," Physica Status Solidi A, 209(1), 2012

Andrew J. Lohn, Takehiro Onishi, Nobuhiko P. Kobayashi, "Optical Properties of Indium Phosphide Nanowire Ensembles at Various Temperatures," Nanotechnology, 21(35), 2010

Andrew J. Lohn, Patrick R. Mickel, James B. Aimone, Erik P. Debenedictis, Matthew J. Marinella "Memristors as Synapses in Artificial Neural Networks: Biomimicry Beyond Weight Change," in Robinson Pino, Cybersecurity Systems for Human Cognition Augmentation, Springer, 2014 (forthcoming)

Honors & Awards

  • Certificate of Excellence, Sandia National Labs
  • National Graduate Student Award, American Vacuum Society
  • Excellence in Graduate Research Award, American Physical Society


  • Bird scooters outside a restaurant in Santa Monica, California, July 23, 2018

    A Better Way to Think About Scooters

    Unleashed in Santa Monica, California, last September, Bird and its competitors are now in 30 American cities and counting. Cities are responding to the scooter takeover with new regulations and increased law enforcement. But if officials rely only on 20th-century tools to integrate these 21st-century scooters into their cities, they will miss a big opportunity.

    Aug 28, 2018 Los Angeles Times

  • Malware or virus inside microchip on electronic circuit

    What Do Meltdown, Spectre, and RyzenFall Mean for the Future of Cybersecurity?

    Unlike most previous cyber threats, a new wave of vulnerabilities attack a computer's hardware, rather than its software. What does this mean for cybersecurity as a whole?

    May 3, 2018 TechCrunch

  • A robot arm moves its index finger toward a nuclear button

    Will Artificial Intelligence Undermine Nuclear Stability?

    In the coming years, AI-enabled progress in tracking and targeting adversaries' nuclear weapons could undermine the foundations of nuclear stability. Will AI someday be able to guide strategy decisions about escalation or even launching nuclear weapons?

    May 1, 2018 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Legged Squad Support System can relieve troops of their 100-pound equipment load, take voice commands, and maneuver around obstacles, in addition to numerous other tasks in the field

    Should We Fear an AI Arms Race?

    Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and others signed a letter calling for a ban on the application of artificial intelligence to advanced weapons systems. AI weapons are not without risks, but the benefits are substantial and the risks can be mitigated with more moderate regulation than a ban.

    Feb 8, 2016 Defense One

  • The humanoid robot AILA (artificial intelligence lightweight android) operates a switchboard during a demonstration at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover, Germany, March, 5, 2013

    How to Overcome the Risks of Artificial Intelligence

    The warnings and promises of artificial intelligence aren't new, but advances in technology make them more pressing.

    Oct 22, 2015 TIME


  • U.S. Army Forces Command's Command Sgt. Maj. speaks to soldiers at Ft. Campbell, May 22, 2018


    The Value of Experience in the Enlisted Force

    The relationships between tenure, experience, and productivity of key noncommissioned officer leadership in the U.S. Army and performance of the junior soldiers they lead are examined in this report.

    Oct 4, 2018

  • Artificial intelligence playing Go


    How Might Artificial Intelligence Affect the Risk of Nuclear War?

    This Perspective -- part of a series examining critical security challenges in 2040 -- is the culmination of a series of workshops examining possible outcomes regarding the influence of advanced computing and artificial intelligence on nuclear security.

    Apr 24, 2018

  • Man with drone in a warehouse.

    Research Brief

    What's the Buzz? The Drones Are Here

    This brief examines the developing technology for using drones to deliver packages and attempts to identify the societal impacts, including potential effects on aerial congestion, noise, privacy, and other outcomes.

    Mar 5, 2018

  • A delivery drone flying over a city


    What's the Buzz? The City-Scale Impacts of Drone Delivery

    This report examines the developing technology for using drones to deliver packages and attempts to identify the societal impacts. In particular, the author estimates the potential effects on energy consumption, aerial congestion, and other outcomes.

    Aug 9, 2017