Women We Admire has recognized Denise Nicholson, Ph.D., as one of the Top 50 Women Leaders of Orlando for 2024. Dr. Denise Nicholson is Soar Technology’s (SoarTech) Chief Operating Officer. She is an executive leader with over 30 years of experience, known for her technical expertise and business acumen that spans government, academia, and industry.

Nicholson, Denise, 2023.jpgWomen We Admire is a membership organization comprised of the most accomplished women executives and leaders in the U.S. and Canada. The organization covers a broad range of topics that recognize the achievements of exceptional women while inspiring others to aim high and continue their journey to reach their full potential.

Dr. Nicholson embarked on her career at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Rome Photonics Lab before rising to the position of deputy director of science & technology at NAVAIR Training Systems Division. Subsequently, she founded the Applied Cognition and Training in Immersive Virtual Environments Laboratory at the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation and Training, where she held joint appointments in the Modeling and Simulation Graduate Program, Industrial Engineering and Management Department, and the College of Optics and Photonics. When Dr. Nicholson transitioned to industry, she was the founding general manager of DSCI – MESH Solutions, LLC.

With a specialized focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, Dr. Nicholson's contributions have significantly influenced various domains within the Defense Department. Her efforts span autonomy, training, simulation, as well as command, control, communications, computers, and information (C4I).

Dr. Nicholson's impact at SoarTech has been profound, says the company, particularly in her adeptness at conceptualization and her commitment to ensuring the successful execution of projects through strategic staff alignment. Notably, she has elevated the standard of business development within the company and has demonstrated excellence in managing the execution of projects, including a recent successful acquisition.

“As the head of the engineering team, she fosters an innovation-driven culture, achieving key performance indicators that significantly contribute to SoarTech's growth,” according to Women We Admire’s website. “Nicholson's multi-faceted background and strategic prowess position her as a key player in shaping the future of AI technology for the military's toughest challenges. Her unwavering commitment to excellence and ability to lead mission-critical initiatives set her apart as a dynamic leader in the field, making her a driving force behind SoarTech's success.”

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