Werner Graupe was born in Berlin and took a job at the Ford Motor Company in that city in 1938. Subsequently, he became, at age 27, the youngest person ever to be appointed production manager at a Ford company. "I received my education in business and administration as well as engineering while working for the Ford Motor Co.," he was to say later.
After WWII, Graupe established his own successful business in Bremen, Germany. In 1951, he, his wife and his one-year-old daughter Antje emigrated to Montreal. In 1952, Graupe founded Ferro Technique, a very successful machine tool-import/export business that he eventually sold in 1976.
In 1992, Graupe established the Werner Graupe Distinguished Chair in Automated Production at McGill University, to foster an apprentice-style relationship between students and business.
In 1999, he established the Antje Graupe Pryor Foundation in memory of his daughter, who had passed away in an untimely fashion in 1997. The foundation funds the awards described on this website.