Olaf Lies was born on 8 May 1967 in Wilhelmshaven. Since November 2017 he has been Lower Saxony’s Minister for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection. Prior to this, Olaf Lies was Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economics, Labour and Transport for five years.
Olaf Lies is married and has two daughters. He still lives with his family in Sande in the district of Friesland, where he grew up. After an apprenticeship as a radio electronics technician at the Naval Arsenal Wilhelmshaven, he completed his basic military service at the Navy and attended the technical college in Wilhelmshaven. He then studied electrical engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven and graduated with a degree in engineering. At the beginning of his professional career, Olaf Lies worked as a development engineer at the Institute for Technical Scientific Innovation on projects in the field of hardware and software development. He then worked as a research assistant and later as a lecturer at today’s Jade University in Wilhelmshaven, specialising in electrical engineering, energy technology/regenerative energies and computer science. At the same time, he worked on a number of development projects, particularly in the automotive industry, and developed and supervised various photovoltaic drinking water projects in Africa and Cameroon. In addition, Olaf Lies has been a member of the staff council since 1996 and chairman of the staff council of the entire University of Applied Sciences Oldenburg/Ostfriesland/Wilhelmshaven since 2003.