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Women in Defence awards: the results are in


A huge congratulations to Senior Aircraftman Emily Brooks who, last night, won the QinetiQ-sponsored Innovation Award at the virtual Women in Defence (WiD) Awards for 2020.

Emily was nominated for her innovative efforts in developing a new fused intelligence product for 1 Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Wing in support of multiple UK and overseas operations. Despite her short time in service, Emily quickly took the lead as the primary focal point for all Flight external intelligence request, producing exceptional intelligence output in support of customer missions.

Emily also led a proof of concept for the first multi-intelligence tasking of its kind. To do this, she created the plan, coordinated with numerous teams across Defence, and leveraged expertise across the Wing. Her product is now used by the Joint Intelligence Operations Centre (JIOC) as providing detailed analysis in indicators and warnings for key adversary activity. It is also being considered for use by the UK and NATO Intelligence Communities.

Her innovative approach to the Wing Fusion Lead role has been incorporated into initial training as the benchmark example which, for someone of such a young age and junior rank, is nothing short of exceptional.

QinetiQ are immensely proud to sponsor this award and were honoured to be a part of the WiD Awards. While this year’s WiD Awards ceremony was different due to its virtual nature, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable event. Hearing the nominations and learning about the contributions of so many great women in the defence sector was so inspiring. Also nominated for the QinetiQ-sponsored Innovation award were:

Major Georgina Blenkinsop, Army

Major Georgina Blenkinsop is nominated for her incredible work in advancing COVID-19 healthcare at a national level.

After witnessing horrific clinical challenges in Afghanistan, Georgie joined jHubMed to continue innovating, focusing on Point of Care Ultrasound for more accurate assessment of haemorrhage and brain injury. Her efforts were considered the greatest advance in front-line medical assessment since the introduction of the stethoscope.

When the pandemic hit, on her own initiative, Georgie re-purposed her ultrasound project to create a national online training platform promoting national use of lung ultrasound in COVID-19. To achieve this, she conducted extensive academic research, proposed it to Health Education England, built the platform, sourced and generated training content and created an associated expert stakeholder group.

Major Blenkinsop was fundamental to the successful launch of the Health Education England

Corona Lung Ultrasound training platform, accessible by the entire NHS for clinicians to enhance ultrasound skills, improve patient assessment and care in this challenging disease. This required hundreds of hours’ work, engagement with scores of clinicians, academics, educators and web designers. An outstanding example of realising a vision at pace in a complex environment, through dedication and expertise.

Lieutenant Colonel Emma Hutley, Army

Lieutenant Colonel Emma Hutley is nominated for her exceptional contributions in advancing Defence Pathology. Through her inspirational efforts and mentoring, Emma has not only increased the number of doctors now working in pathology, but through her hard work, research and innovation has introduced new frontline equipment and improved ways of working.

Emma’s appointment as the Defence Consultant for Pathology, in just her first year as a Consultant, coincided with the devastating outbreak of the Ebola Virus. Owing to Emma’s exhaustive efforts the British Army safely deployed into this dangerous environment with a pioneering military clinical laboratory able to provide a full range of analysis. Hutley’s ability to fuse clinical and military thinking led to the introduction of new, mobile diagnostic equipment, providing early critical result interpretation and positively effecting treatment protocols.

When COVID-19 began, Emma played a pivotal role in the Defence response, leading the direction in testing procedures, adopted by the NHS. Resolute amidst Ebola and pivotal during the pandemic, there is little doubt that Emma’s efforts and passion had a tremendous positive impact on improving diagnosis and saving any lives.

Congratulations once again to all nominees and to Senior Aircraftman Emily Brooks, winner of the Innovation Award 2020.

Nominations for this year’s WiD Awards 2021 are now open, find out more.