Contact

Email: sebastien@princeton.edu

Voicemail: +1-609-258-3000


Sébastien Philippe is an Associate Research Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with the Program on Science and Global Security. He is also an associate fellow (2019-2021) at the Nuclear Knowledges Program at Sciences-Po, Paris. His research focuses on the monitoring and verification of international agreements, the reconstruction of past nuclear weapon activities (nuclear archaeology), and the impact of emerging technologies on the safety, security, and vulnerability of strategic nuclear forces. He was previously a 2018-2019 Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. From 2011-2012, he worked in the French Ministry of Defense, where he was a nuclear weapon system safety expert for the strategic submarine forces. Philippe is associate editor of the journal Science and Global Security and a member of the International Panel on Fissile Materials. He holds a PhD (2018) in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, where he was a 2017-2018 Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellow.
 

Research Interests

 

My research combines science, engineering, and public policy to assess, manage, and reduce the risks associated with nuclear weapons and fissile materials to national and international security. My goal is to contribute to the development of new approaches and technologies to support current and future domestic policies and diplomatic processes concerned with nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament and for new mechanisms to address the impact of emerging technologies, such as cyber capabilities and artificial intelligence, on the safety and security of critical infrastructures.

My current research agenda focuses on three areas: first, the development of new monitoring and verification technologies to enable diplomatic processes, especially with regard to preventing and reversing the spread of nuclear weapons, and reducing the risks for the misuses of nuclear materials and technologies; second, the development of nuclear archaeology methods for the retrospective documentation and reconstruction of nuclear weapons activities, especially the production and disposition of fissile materials – with the goal of strengthening nuclear security, and enabling future fissile material and denuclearization treaties; and, third, the development of new policies addressing the impact of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cyber capabilities and quantum technologies, on the safety, security, and vulnerability of strategic nuclear forces and critical infrastructures.

Publications

 

S. Philippe, A. Glaser, and E. W. Felten, A Cryptographic Escrow for Treaty Declarations and Step-by-Step Verification, Science & Global Security, 27 (1), 2019.

F. d'Errico, A. Chierici, M. Gattas-Sethi, S. Philippe, R. J. Goldston, and A. Glaser, New Developments and Applications of Superheated Emulsions: Warhead Verification and Special Nuclear Material Interdiction, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 180 (1-4), 2018.

A. Glaser, B. Barak, M. Kütt, and S. Philippe, Physical Public Templates for Nuclear Warhead Verification, 59th Annual INMM Meeting, Baltimore, MD, July 2018.

M. Hepler, S. Philippe, A. Glaser, R. J. Goldston, and F. d'Errico, Not So Fast: Tailoring 14-MeV Neutrons for Zero-Knowledge Isotopic Comparison of Uranium Objects, 59th INMM Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, July 2018.

M. Hepler, R. J. Goldston, P. Kunkle, A. Glaser, J. E. G. Peek, and S. Philippe, Machine Vision for Imaging Bubbles: From the Interstellar Medium to Neutron Detectors for Zero-Knowledge Warhead Verification, 59th INMM Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, July 2018.

S. Philippe, R. Barnett, U. Rührmair, and A. Glaser, Toward Trusted Sensors for Nuclear Arms Control Verification: Superheated Emulsions as Neutron-Sensitive Physical Unclonable Functions, 58th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Wells, CA, July 2017.

S. Philippe, A. Glaser, and E. W. Felten, Cryptographic Escrow of Nuclear Warhead Inventories for Early Commitment and Non-intrusive Verification, 58th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Wells, CA, July 2017.

S. Philippe, R. J. Goldston, A. Glaser, and F. d'Errico, A Physical Zero-Knowledge Object-Comparison System for Nuclear Warhead Verification, Nature Communications, 7:12890, 2016.

S. Philippe, M. Kütt, M. McKeown, A. Glaser, and U. Rührmair, The Application of Virtual Proofs of Reality to Nuclear Safeguards and Arms Control Verification, 57th INMM Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 2016.

S. Philippe, A. Glaser, R. J. Goldston, and F. d'Errico, Zero-Knowledge Differential Isotopic Comparison of Special Nuclear Materials, 57th INMM Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 2016.

F. von Hippel and S. Philippe, A Ban on the Production of Highly Enriched Uranium, 57th INMM Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 2016.

S. Philippe, R. J. Goldston, G. Ascione, F. d'Errico, C. Gentile, and A. Glaser, Experimental Demonstration of a Physical Zero-knowledge Protocol for Nuclear Warhead Verification, 56th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Well, CA, July 2015.

S. Philippe, B. Barak, and A. Glaser, Designing Protocols for Nuclear Weapons Verification, 56th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Well, CA, July 2015.

M. Kütt, A. Glaser, and S. Philippe, Leveraging the Wisdom of the Crowd: Hardware and Software Challenges for Nuclear Disarmament Verification, 56th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Well, CA, July 2015.

S. Philippe, Safeguarding the Military Naval Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Journal of Nuclear Materials Management, XLII (3), 2014.

S. Philippe and A. Glaser, Nuclear Archaeology for Gaseous Diffusion Enrichment Plants, Science & Global Security, 22 (1), 2014.

S. Philippe, All at Sea? A Safeguards Approach for the Military Naval Nuclear Fuel Cycle, 55th Annual INMM Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 2014.

M. Kütt, S. Philippe, B. Barak, A. Glaser, and R. J. Goldston, Authenticating Nuclear Warheads With High Confidence, 55th Annual INMM Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 2014.

R. J. Goldston, F. d’Errico, A. di Fulvio, A. Glaser, S. Philippe, and M. Walker, Zero Knowledge Warhead Verification: System Requirements and Detector Technologies, 55th Annual INMM Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 2014.

S. Philippe and A. Glaser, Nuclear Archaeology for Gaseous Diffusion Enrichment Plants, 54th Annual INMM Meeting, Palm Desert, CA, July 2013.

Talks

 

Foreign Skeletons in Nuclear Closets: Implications for Policy and Verification, International Security Program, Harvard University, May 23, 2019.

TPNW connections to IAEA, NPT and CTBT, Ban Treaty Study Group Meeting, Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations, New York, May 7, 2019.

France Nuclear Weapon Policy, Annual Meeting of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, Princeton University, May 6, 2019.

Disordered Sensors and Unclonable Spaces for Nuclear Verification, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, March 11, 2019.

Nuclear Disarmament and the Prohibition Treaty, Project on Managing the Atom Seminar, Harvard University, February 5, 2019.

The French Experience of Nuclear Entrenchment, Workshop on Nuclear Embeddedness and (Ir)reversibility, Princeton University, February 2, 2019.

Disorder-based Approaches to Nuclear Verification, Nuclear Science and Policy Seminar, Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering, MIT, December 14, 2018.

Mirage, Hypnosis and Bonapartism (with B. Pelopidas), Workshop on French nuclear histories and politics, Sciences-Po Paris, France, November 12, 2018.

Setting up the competent national authority or authorities for verification (with T. Patton), Ban Treaty Study Group Meeting, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations, New York, October 10, 2018

Brief on Monitoring & Verification, Workshop on the Governance of Deployment of Solar Geoengineering, Project on Climate Agreements, Harvard University, September 27-28, 2018

The Naval Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Challenges and Opportunities for Governance, Mitigating Security and Proliferation Risks from Naval Nuclear Fuel, George Washington University, August 27, 2018.

Sequential Declaration and Verification with Limited Access, Workshop on Verifying Denuclearization of North Korea, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington DC, June 13, 2018.

Dealing with Secrecy, Trust and Access in Nuclear Weapons Verification, Security Seminar, Computer Science Department, Stanford University, February 13, 2018.

Dealing with Secrecy, Trust and Access in Nuclear Weapons Verification,Nuclear Science and Security Consortium, University of California, Berkeley, February 14, 2018.

Dealing with Secrecy, Trust and Access in Nuclear Weapons Verification, Sandia National Laboratory, February 15, 2018.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Can Cryptography Help Crack the Next Generation of Nuclear Arms-Control Treaties? (with A. Glaser), Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Horst Görtz Institute for IT-Security, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, November 17, 2017.

Toward Trusted Sensors for Nuclear Arms Control Verification: Superheated Emulsions as Neutron-Sensitive Physical Unclonable Functions,” 58th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Wells, CA, July 17, 2017.

Cryptographic Escrow of Nuclear Warhead Inventories for Early Commitment and Non-intrusive Verification, 58th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Wells, CA, July 18, 2017.

On the Foundations of Nuclear Bonapartism (with B. Pelopidas), French Nuclear History: An Appraisal and Perspectives, Sciences-Po Paris, France, May 5, 2017.

Safeguarding the Naval Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee, Vienna, Austria, May 3, 2017.

How to Keep a Secret While Dismantling an Atomic Bomb: Information Security and Verification (with A. Glaser), Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University, May 2, 2017.

On-Site Inspections from a Distance: The Application of Virtual Proofs of Reality to Nuclear Safeguards And Arms Control Verification, US Department of Energy Consortium for Verification Technology Annual Meeting, University of Michigan, October 19, 2016.

The Application of Virtual Proofs of Reality to Nuclear Safeguards and Arms Control Verification, 57th INMM Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 28, 2016.

Zero-Knowledge Differential Isotopic Comparison of Special Nuclear Materials, 57th INMM Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 28, 2016.

Kilotons, Kilowatts and Kilograms: Fissile Materials Science and Policy, Energy Seminar, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton University, June 16, 2016.

A Physical Zero-Knowledge Shell Game, Workshop on Techniques for Protection of Imaging Information, Pacific Northwest and Sandia National Laboratories, Seattle, June 1, 2016.

First Experimental Demonstration of a Physical Zero-Knowledge Protocol, US Department of Energy Consortium for Verification Technology Annual Meeting, University of Michigan, October 16, 2015.

Experimental Demonstration of a Physical Zero-knowledge Protocol for Nuclear Warhead Verification, 56th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Well, CA, July 15, 2015.

Designing Protocols for Nuclear Weapons Verification, 56th Annual INMM Meeting, Indian Well, CA, July 14, 2015.

Zero-Knowledge Warhead Verification, Joint Workshop on Verification Technology, Princeton University and China Academy of Engineering Physics, Beijing, China, June 16, 2015.

Safeguarding the Naval Nuclear Fuel Cycle, International Atomic Energy Agency (Safeguards Strategic Planning Division), Vienna, Austria, January 6, 2015.

All at Sea? A Safeguards Approach for the Military Naval Nuclear Fuel Cycle, 55th Annual INMM Meeting, Atlanta, GA, July 21, 2014.

The Nuclear Archaeology of Gaseous Diffusion Enrichment Plants, Princeton University Research Symposium, October 20, 2013.

The Nuclear Archaeology of Gaseous Diffusion Enrichment Plants, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Annual Research Day (Finalist), Princeton University, September 13, 2013.

Nuclear Archaeology for Gaseous Diffusion Enrichment Plants, 54th Annual INMM Meeting, Palm Desert, CA, July 15, 2013.