in Defence / Events

Dstl's Linda Knutsen recognised as tech trailblazer

Posted 14 June 2022

Linda Knutsen, Head of Exploration Division at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in European Technology at the InspiringFifty Europe 2022 awards.

Image courtesy Dstl

Linda (above) received her award yesterday evening at a ceremony in Westminster Abbey to mark the start of London Tech Week.

Linda said: "I am humbled and delighted to be included in the top fifty inspirational women and honoured to work alongside so many other trailblazers in Dstl who will undoubtedly be contending for a place on this list in the future.

"Dstl has undertaken talent management for some time, and rather like a football scout spotting talent of the future, I was one of those people who was spotted 10 years ago as a future leader.

"I think it is important for women to have a role model within their senior leadership, and I take my responsibility of being that role model for our female staff in Dstl very seriously.

"Senior roles in any organisation should represent society at large. I like to think I can be my true self at work at a senior level, and I hope that it inspires women to have confidence in being themselves too."

Linda has been working in defence, science and technology for 28 years.

After gaining a MSc in analytic chemistry she started her career at the Royal Navy Scientific Service as a forensic chemist in the organisation’s aircraft material lab.

Linda then went on to work for the Defence Research Agency which later became the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency – a predecessor to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

More recently she was capability leader in Dstl’s Platform Systems Division - a role in which she led about 1,000 scientists and engineers.

She was also responsible for developing key strategic relationships and providing thought leadership in science and technology.

Since her senior leadership potential was identified she has undertaken Dstl leadership development courses and been involved in mentoring and coaching.

Last year Linda was promoted to her current role in which she oversees innovation in ‘over the horizon’ ideas and generation after next technology.

This latest award comes after she was, last year, recognised in the top 50 female tech leaders in the UK for her work in transforming the industry.

Former US Secretary of State – one-time First Lady and later presidential candidate - Hillary Clinton was among the speakers at this event.

Dstl Chief Executive Paul Hollinshead said: "We are all extremely proud of Linda and delighted that her talents and achievements are being recognised at an international level.

"She is an inspirational leader who has made a huge contribution to the world of science and technology and continues to do so.

"Our people are world class and with Linda as a role model I hope more women will look at STEM and Dstl as a promising and rewarding career option."

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