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Honoured for his work in cyber security

Gunnar Karlsson with his Headquarters Medal of Merit from the Swedish Armed Forces.
Gunnar Karlsson with his Headquarters Medal of Merit from the Swedish Armed Forces.
Published Dec 12, 2023

Gunnar Karlsson from the Department of Network and Systems Engineering recently received the Headquarters Medal of Merit from the Swedish Armed Forces for his commitment to training cyber soldiers and specialist officers.

Gunnar says his reaction when he received the prestigious award was a mix of joy and surprise.

"I was the only outsider among so many distinguished participants. A very special and honourable moment."

Gunnar's initial contact with the Swedish Armed Forces came in 2019, opening the door to talks about training and an opportunity to be part of something significant.

"I realised the opportunity to contribute in training and structure, areas I care a lot about," Gunnar shares.

Through close cooperation with the Swedish Armed Forces and careful planning, the course was designed and successfully launched as a pilot in autumn 2020. 

"It went so well that we didn't have to change anything. We were right from the start," Gunnar explains.

Gunnar has worked actively to design courses for conscript recruits, who aim to become cyber soldiers, and officer cadets, who seek to become specialist officers with a technical focus on cyber security.

Great need

The global need for cybersecurity experts is enormous, and studies show the need for at least 4 million qualified people globally, of which 300,000 are needed in Europe. KTH contributes to contract education for the Swedish Armed Forces and offers a master's programme in cybersecurity for civil engineers.

For Gunnar, it is necessary to train professionals and include those without technical training, such as healthcare and commerce. 

"Empowering people from different backgrounds to work on these issues is a high priority, and I am currently drafting such a programme," Gunnar concludes.

Motivation

Gunnar Karlsson is awarded the Headquarters Medal of Merit in silver with the following citation:

Gunnar has been instrumental in shaping, implementing and continuously developing mission training for the Swedish Armed Forces' conscripted cyber soldiers and cyber officers at KTH.

Gunnar's broad subject area expertise, modern pedagogical approach, constant willingness to curiously improve the operation combined with a personal integrity has been invaluable in this context.

During both the restrictions of the Corona pandemic and under more normal conditions, Gunnar has actively worked for the production and wartime deployment of cyber defence personnel with good results. For this, the Swedish Armed Forces expresses its warmest thanks through this award.

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Honoured for his work in cyber security

Gunnar Karlsson from the Department of Network and Systems Engineering recently received the Headquarters Medal of Merit from the Swedish Armed Forces for his commitment to training cyber soldiers and...

Read the article