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Presidents Message - June 2011

By Peter Drechsler

STLE: The year in review

Online education, student outreach and collaboration with other organization top our list of achievements. 

It has truly been a wonderful year for me. While some may think serving as president of a large technical society is a daunting task, let me say that while it does take much work, there are many delights to be had along the way. I am but one of the many custodians of our great society who throughout the years had one premise in common—to help guide our society for the future benefit of our membership.

This past year I have seen many changes in our society that not only enhanced member benefits but created a pathway for future activities. I am talking about the STLE initiative to change the way we communicate and deliver our educational content.STLE’s vision is guided by our members who provided direction via a member-needs survey as well as the McKinley Marketing study.

While members view STLE as an industry authority and provider of information and education, they also crave education in new formats. This past year we have introduced STLE Webinars, podcasts, discussion forums on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook and the creation of STLE University.

In addition, we have created the Emerging Technologies Committee to act as the ears and eyes of the society and focus our attention on new and novel technologies. This is keeping in step with members’ expectations with regard to STLE as an information resource. These technologies may seem benign or extreme today but may one day change the way we live, work and play. Tribology will play an important role in helping to reduce future energy demands.

We have been active on other fronts as well. We continue to expand our collaboration with other technical societies and organizations, thus expanding STLE’s brand awareness.

All of this would not have been successful without the drive and determination of the many volunteers and our exceptional STLE staff. I Have been blessed with the honor of working with such a wonderful and talented group of people.

As president I have had the privilege of attending many STLE local section meetings and found that we truly have a devoted group of individuals who take pride in their groups. But the one resounding theme that I see from both the large sections and the small sections is the need to attract the younger generation to participate.

Many local sections have the same people serving on their executive committees each year. We can only ask so much from these devoted volunteers. Fresh ideas and thinking are always welcome at STLE. I’m pleased to say that with the Young Tribologists Committee, student poster contests, our Career Center and other initiatives, STLE now is making a concerted effort to recruit talented young people into the field of tribology and our society.

I see this as a challenge and an opportunity for future generations of STLE presidents. I leave this position in good hands with Dr. Michael Dugger, your 2011-2012 STLE president. Mike brings a wealth of knowledge to this position after having served in many capacities with STLE.

Again, my sincerest thanks to all of you who have served STLE this past year. I would also like to thank the management team at Timken for allowing me the opportunity to serve as STLE president.

It’s been a wonderful year.


Peter Drechsler is a senior tribology specialist with The Timken Co. in Canton, Ohio. You can reach him at peter.drechsler@timken.com

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