WACKER attaches considerable importance to fostering young scientific talent and maintaining close contacts with universities. Our researchers are regularly invited to give presentations and guest lectures at universities, and university groups visit our sites for an inside look at work in an industrial corporation. Students can write their bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s theses at WACKER, or work as interns or take vacation jobs. In 2017 and 2018, we sponsored some 300 final thesis projects and internships with students at over 50 universities internationally.
Wacker Chemie AG and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have maintained a close partnership in silicon chemistry since 2006. We are sponsoring the Institute of Silicon Chemistry, funded by us and located on the Garching research campus near Munich, with a total of €8.5 million. In the past thirteen years, 46 research projects have been conducted here, resulting in ten patents and 54 scientific publications. Since the Institute was founded, we have also sponsored 57 scholarship holders.
WACKER is taking part in the German Federal Ministry of Education’s national scholarship program (“Deutschlandstipendium”). This 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). In 2018, a total of 20 students at eleven different colleges and universities were awarded national scholarships funded by WACKER. Alongside scholarship recipients, WACKER has also given awards to the top engineering and bioengineering graduates at the Technical University of Dortmund in order to support the most talented students in these fields early on and to put the company on their radar.
In addition, WACKER’s management trainee program was awarded the 2018 seal of approval for trainee programs that promote careers and are fair. The honor certifies the quality of a program and is given each year by Absolventa GmbH in collaboration with Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU).
WACKER was also recognized as a Fair Company (website available in German only) in 2017 and 2018. Key factors for receiving this seal of approval is feedback from interns which is then assessed by the Fair Company Initiative. The initiative was established by Germany’s Handelsblatt and Wirtschaftswoche business newspapers with the aim of placing young people in internships that abide by the Fair Company rules. These include a prohibition on replacing full-time employees with interns and on giving internships to applicants for permanent positions. Internships should instead be geared toward career development and offered primarily during training periods. Even after a former WACKER apprentice goes on to study or do an internship somewhere else, the company systematically stays in touch, providing such young people with information on new developments at WACKER, including suitable job offers. Plus, the students then have a contact at WACKER if they are interested in joining the company after they finish their degree.
Dr. Herbert W. Roesky, Emeritus Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the Georg-August University of Göttingen, received the 2018 WACKER Silicone Award. Presented by WACKER during the ninth European Silicon Days in Saarbrücken, the award recognizes Roesky’s groundbreaking work in the field of low-valence silicon chemistry. The prize winner is among the world’s best known scientists in the field of fluorine and silicon chemistry. Roesky’s principal discoveries include the synthesis of a dichlorosilylene from trichlorosilane. Industrial applications such as process optimization represent another area where Roesky’s work is of importance. The WACKER Silicone Award, which has a cash value of €10,000, ranks alongside the American Chemical Society’s Kipping Award as the most important international accolade in organosilicon chemistry.