Trusting Digital in the Nuclear Age


Sarah Hale - Sandia LabsTrusting Digital in the Nuclear Age by Sarah Hale, Sandia National Laboratories

Leveraging the benefits of model-based practices while meeting international agile deterrent requirements.

As part of the Nuclear Security Enterprise, Sandia National Laboratories works to ensure that the United States’ nuclear deterrent is safe, secure, and reliable. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review showed that the current evolving and uncertain international security environment requires an agile deterrent. Sandia plans to leverage the benefits of model-based practices to achieve this agility, but how do you introduce new processes into an enterprise that hasn’t created a “new” device or conducted a full system test in over 25 years? To encourage our enterprise to trust digital, Sandia is using 3D Interactive Viewables (3D PDF) and model-based product structure to integrate digital engineering ideas into our current processes. Once trust is established, we plan to fully implement a Model Based Enterprise to realize all the benefits of digital engineering. In addition to a risk-adverse culture and paper-based processes, Sandia has a heightened security environment. Introducing new software to this environment is often a slow and tedious process. The challenges of software assurance are the next hurdle Sandia must address in order to trust digital.

PresenterSandia Labs logo

Sarah Hale
Mechanical Engineering – MBE Architect
Sandia National Laboratories

Sarah Hale has worked as mechanical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories for nine years. She earned a BS from Oklahoma State and a MS from Georgia Tech, both in Mechanical Engineering. She spent eight years as a finite element analyst on the Modeling and Simulation Team and joined the Model-Based Enterprise team after noticing that analysis models are frustratingly disconnected from CAD models. As an MBE architect, she works to find ways to connect and reuse all types of models. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with her church and Girl Scouts.

3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress

The 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress (3D CIC) focuses on 3D CAD collaboration and interoperability for the entire product lifecycle. The 2019 theme of Trust Digital showcasing organizations that have evolved to trusting digital: tracking their product’s condition digitally at each stage of the product lifecycle. 3D CIC 2019 will be held October 7-11, 2019 at the Buffalo Rose Events Center in Golden, Colorado. Find out more and register at

3D CIC 2016 Orange Letters 1200 x 147 pixels

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