Skip to content

Keith Vanderveen

Senior Engineer
Advisory Bio: 
Keith earned his BS degree in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology, and his law degree (JD) and PhD in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. Keith began his career at Lucent Technologies’ Bell Labs in 1998. Keith started his career at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in 2001 in the Advanced and Exploratory program within the CA Weapons System Engineering Center. Keith spent 3 years working on weapons concepts such as the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) as well as advanced warhead state-of-health technologies and participated in the Weapon Intern Program (an orientation to nuclear weapons engineering) from 2001 – 2002. Keith then moved to the systems analysis group at SNL/CA, and eventually to the computing sciences center, where he worked on cyber threat identification and characterization. After becoming the manager of a computer science R&D department, Keith spent 8 years helping the staff develop capabilities in digital assurance and cyber security, including formal methods to analyze digital hardware and software and large-scale network testbeds for cyber security. Keith also helped his senior manager and director build a program to advise and support DHS in its efforts to secure civilian federal government networks. In 2016, Keith rejoined the weapons program as the manager of the B83 Systems Engineering Department. In that role, Keith led the B83 team in answering questions about the need for potential engineering alterations to extend service life. This work culminated in the B83 team preparing the Director of the Office of the Nuclear Weapon Stockpile for a briefing to the Nuclear Weapons Council in August 2018. In 2019, Keith became the manager of the W87-0 Systems Engineering Department. The W87-0 had a number of components in production or development, as well as undertaking two engineering alterations (Alts) involving new neutron generators and a new gas transfer system, which brought with it lots of interaction with the Kansas City National Security Campus (KCNSC) and the Pantex plant (PX), as well as with many component engineering groups. The W87-0 also had two flight test vehicle development programs underway as part of the effort to qualify the W87-0 to fly on the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD, now known as Sentinel), the next US ICBM. As a consequence, Keith had extensive interactions with Telemetry Systems Engineering at SNL, as well as USAF, LLNL, and NNSA. Finally, the W87-0 had been tasked by NNSA to explore the feasibility of implementing additional enhanced security features during transport, so Keith had extensive interactions with the security community at the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA), SNL, and other sites. In 2021, Keith accepted an assignment as a technical advisor to support the counter-subversion program (known as Nuclear Enterprise Assurance or NEA) at the NNSA. In this role, Keith helped the federal leadership develop a strategy to integrate counter subversion efforts into the weapons design process. In 2022, Keith was appointed to the role of Senior Engineer, which is conferred on Sandia engineers who have made extraordinary technical contributions to the laboratories’ mission. In this role, Keith is the chief technical advisor to the Director of the CA Stockpile Systems and Components Center. Keith has also advised the Laboratories Director of SNL on cyber assurance as it pertains to nuclear weapons and the infrastructure used by SNL to assess nuclear weapons for safety, security, and reliability.
Sandia National Laboratories