Sophie V. Vandebroek, chief technology officer and president of Xerox Innovation Group, received the Engineer of the Year award from the Rochester Engineering Society at its annual gala, held Saturday in Rochester, N.Y. Vandebroek is the first woman to receive the award in its 43-year history. An electrical engineer specializing in electromechanical engineering and microelectronics, she holds nine patents and has been active in numerous professional organizations. Vandebroek is particularly interested in youth development and the advancement of women and minorities in engineering, the society said. She was a judge for the MIT Technology Review TR100 Young Innovators Awards, the Wall Street Journal Innovation Awards and the FIRST Robotics and Lego League regional Finger Lakes competitions. Despite all of those accomplishments, her greatest achievement has been "raising three great kids as a single mother," she said. . . . Thomas H. Werner was elected to the board of Cree Inc., a Durham, N.C., maker of electronic devices made from silicon carbide (SiC). Werner is CEO and a director at SunPower Corp., a Sunnyvale, Calif., manufacturer of solar cells and panels. Previously, he was CEO of Silicon Light Machines Inc., a subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. He is also on the board of Silicon Light Machines and Three-Five Systems Inc. . . . Mehdi Asghari, PhD, former vice president of R&D at Bookham Inc., was named chief technology officer at Kotura Inc., a Monterey Park, Calif., maker of photonic silicon devices. With more than 15 years of engineering and management experience in the silicon photonics and optoelectronics industries, he has written or co-written more than 50 publications and holds more than 12 patents. . . . PerkinElmer Inc. announced a research collaboration agreement with Jacobi Medical Center, which is developing a centralized molecular genetics diagnostic laboratory that will ultimately serve the Health and Hospitals Corp. of New York City. PerkinElmer will provide Jacobi with bead-based multiplex technologies to identify and validate biomarkers for genetic diseases; they will focus on neonatal, prenatal and maternal/adult health care.