Franz-Xaver Graf demonstrated how close to his heart WACKER was during the second World War: with English bombers flying over Burghausen, the air-raid siren blaring and everyone running for the air-raid shelter - only the canteen manager remained alone in the kitchen preparing the food for the rest of the staff. One of the canteen manager’s daughters later married the electrician Karl Gregory,
who led the construction of the first 100,000 volt substation and was part of the WACKER workforce for 40 years. The family lived in an attic apartment in what is now personnel building LP 27. It was here on November 18, 1935, that the company doctor delivered a baby boy who would later go down in WACKER’s history as the “Lord of the Powder Towers”: Xaver Gregory. As a child, the long walk from the plant grounds to school in historic downtown Burghausen used to vex him - and the thought that he might one day work at WACKER never crossed his mind.
However, he was fascinated by chemistry and he chose it as an optional extra subject when he went to high school. He later studied and obtained his doctorate from the Technical University in Munich while working for WACKER as a student employee at the same time. “I was always busy in different labs,” he recalls, “and that was something I really enjoyed. After graduating from university, there were a whole range of reasons for deciding on WACKER - of course I knew the plant and the people.” In 1962 he started as a chemist but in time he went on to head eight different departments.
He celebrated his greatest success in the area of dispersible polymer powders - through innovations in processing techniques, he helped establish WACKER’s position as a global technological leader in the manufacture of dispersible polymer powders. Xaver Gregory retired in 1997 - but today there is still a lecture hall named after him in the WACKER ACADEMY.