It was 25 years ago that Sophie Vandebroek arrived in the United States with a graduate fellowship; $500 and a clear-minded focus on earning a doctorate in engineering. Today, Vandebroek is the chief technology officer of Xerox Corporation, and the next inductee into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame.
Sophie Vandebroek is one of four women who will receive the WITI Hall of Fame Award for achievements and contributions in science and technology.
"This year’s Hall of Fame Awards marks WITI’s 16th year of honoring and recording the contributions of women to science and technology,” says Carolyn Leighton, WITI founder and chairwoman. “In addition to their achievements, all our honorees have demonstrated a commitment to advancing women, and are role models who inspire their colleagues and future generations."
“Innovation that is nurtured by our commitment to science and technology has defined Xerox for decades,” said Vandebroek, who also serves as president of the Xerox Innovation Group. “That’s what inspired me not only to build a rewarding career here but also to encourage young people to embrace careers in science and technology and help solve the problems facing our world.”
Vandebroek will be honored today in San Jose, Calif., during the WITI Women Powering Technology Summit, where she will deliver a keynote presentation on the Future of Work.
"WITI's Annual Women Powering Technology Summit showcases leading women who are influencing the direction of technology and business. WITI leaders are committed to transforming the way companies think about hiring and advancing women," says Leighton.
Vandebroek, named to her current position in 2006, is responsible for overseeing Xerox’s research centers in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States, as well as the Palo Alto Research Center.
Vandebroek is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, a Fulbright Fellow, and a fellow of the Belgian-American Educational Foundation. She holds 12 U.S. patents and has received awards from Xerox, IBM, HP, Monsanto, the Belgium National Science Foundation, Semiconductor Research Corporation, IEEE, and Cornell University. Vandebroek is a member of the board of directors of Analogic Corporation and Nypro Corporation, and is a member of the U.S. National Academies Committee on Science, Technology & Law. She is a trustee of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and also serves on the advisory council of the deans of engineering at Cornell University and at MIT.
Vandebroek was born in Leuven, Belgium, where she earned a master's degree in electro-mechanical engineering from Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven. She received a doctorate in electrical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.