WACKER attaches considerable importance to fostering young scientific talent and maintaining close contacts with universities. In 2013 and 2014, we sponsored some 320 final thesis projects and internships with students at over 50 universities internationally. In addition, Wacker Chemie AG and the Technische Universität München (TUM) extended their existing partnership in silicon research for another six years, with the TUM and WACKER agreeing to this in writing in February 2014. We are sponsoring the Institute of Silicon Chemistry, located on the Garching research campus near Munich, with a total of up to €2.5 million, a sum that will finance doctoral positions and the associated material resources.
WACKER and TUM founded the Institute of Silicon Chemistry in 2006. In recent years, more than 30 research projects have been conducted here, resulting in ten patents and over 35 scientific publications. In the seventh and eighth years since the Institute of Silicon Chemistry was founded at the TUM, we also sponsored 16 students (bringing the grand total to over 50 students since the Institute’s inception). Ten of our students completed their doctoral theses in 2013/2014 (the Institute has produced a total of 30 doctoral theses since its founding). Two new graduates joined WACKER during the period under review to pursue careers in R&D.
The winner of the 2014 WACKER Silicone Award, Professor Akira Sekiguchi. The 62-year-old scientist teaches organic chemistry at the University of Tsukuba, Japan.
In 2014, WACKER partnered with the Technische Universität Berlin to organize an international scientific convention. The 17th International Symposium on Silicon Chemistry (ISOS XVII) and the jointly organized 7th European Silicon Days attracted some 600 researchers from the field of silicon and silicone chemistry to Berlin. During the convention, WACKER presented, for the 15th time, the WACKER Silicone Award for outstanding achievements in this area of research. The winner this time was Akira Sekiguchi, a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
Chattanooga State Community College was honored with the prestigious 2013 Bellwether prize – awarded for leading community colleges into the future – at the Community College FUTURES Assembly’s annual meeting. The college received the award in the “Workforce Development” category for its “WACKER INSTITUTE: Diplomas with Job Offers” project, which set an example for similar institutions. With WACKER POLYSILICON North America, the institute has been training employees for the Group’s new polysilicon production facility in Charleston, Tennessee since February 2012. This WACKER production site is scheduled to start operating in the second half of 2015.
In 2013, WACKER Greater China organized a competition for universities. 185 students from three Chinese universities took part in the Chemical University Contest. During the final round of this multistage competition, eight student projects were presented and given distinctions. The contest aimed at promoting knowledge about WACKER products among future construction-industry managers, intensifying cooperation with universities, and attracting the next generation of specialists directly from universities. During the reporting period, WACKER Greater China also awarded grants totaling some RMB 90,000 (€13,000) to students at the Nanjing Forest University and Wuxi Jiangnan University.
WACKER Takes Part in German Scholarship Program
WACKER has participated in the German Scholarship Program sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since 2013. The scholarship program provides students with a monthly stipend of €300, half of which is contributed by the Federal Government and half by private donors (companies, individuals). Jasmin Haberl, a chemistry student at the TUM, was the first student that WACKER supported under the Germany Scholarship Program.
“For us, the Germany Scholarship Program is an excellent opportunity to support highly motivated young people and to advertise our company as a future employer to the best students of their subject areas,” said Markus Huber from WACKER’s Personnel Marketing team – both sides, in other words, profit equally from this partnership.
The national scholarship helps support students whose background presages great academic and career achievements. The performance concept underlying the scholarship has deliberately been given a broad scope, taking account of not only good grades and academic performance, but also willingness to take on responsibility, or success at overcoming hurdles in personal life or academic career.