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Presidents Message May 2009
Robert W. Bruce

A productive year for STLE

Our society enjoyed many successes and only a few disappointments in fiscal year 2008-2009.

The 2008-2009 fiscal year started with an outstanding STLE Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Cleveland. For the second year in a row attendance hit 1,400, a modern record.  The conference featured an outstanding 350 technical presentations, and the trade show was sold out and very effective.
Given the current state of the economy and business conditions, it’s probably unrealistic to expect the 2009 conference, May 17-21 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., to match those numbers.  However, we have nearly the same number of presentations on deck, plus 10 one-day education courses and, of course the exhibition, where you can still get a hands-on view of the lubricant industry’s newest technologies.

STLE’s new Constitution and Bylaws, approved by members in March, is the result of a multiyear effort led by Vice President Dave Scheetz. It is fitting that Dave will be the first STLE president aided by the change.

By adopting the new Constitution and Bylaws, STLE’s Board of Directors can better direct its focus on the society’s future. This includes our effort to develop leaders through guidance and mentoring and spreading the work over a larger number of volunteers. Too many volunteers are now asked to perform multiple functions within STLE while their own work pressures continue to increase.

Local section bylaws have been gathered electronically at STLE headquarters and are being scrutinized to minimize legal exposure. A handbook for local sections is on the Web site, as is a list of technical presenters; both will help increase attendance at local meetings.

Operating manuals for committees and councils also are being gathered and scrutinized. The Bylaws and operating manuals may be used to help volunteers understand what is expected.

STLE’s completely revamped Web site launched in November has capabilities that better facilitate communications between members and member groups. The new site also positions STLE to more effectively reach out across the world.

ur first Webinar is complete and will be displayed at the Lake Buena Vista annual meeting. This is a first step toward putting electronic education modules on our Web site.

n June we will see the debut issue of the electronic version of TLT. The new format will be demonstrated at the Florida annual meeting.

STLE was active on other fronts, as well.  Alliance building with several similar organizations in the U.S. and abroad are being organized. The Young Tribologists Committee held contests to attract more students to our conferences and continues providing support for students looking for employers. Alas, we were unable to increase membership and will continue our efforts with renewed vigor.

All in all, STLE enjoyed a productive year, and I want to thank all who helped make it so. Our next president, Dave Scheetz of ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties, is an energetic and fun guy and a great communicator. I look forward to supporting him this coming year, and I want to thank him, Immediate Past President Ed Becker and Executive Director Ed Salek for the outstanding support they gave me during the past year.
Bob Bruce is principal engineer, tribology, at GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati. You can reach him at president@stle.org
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