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Presidents Message August 2009

David K. Scheetz

A researcher’s dream come true

Hundreds of thought-leaders are meeting at the IJTC to share the latest in tribology research.

Say the words Memphis, Tenn., and most people probably think of Elvis Presley and his Graceland estate. Memphis also is where you’ll find Sun Studios, where such artists as Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and U2 have recorded.

This year, however, Memphis also has meaning for STLE’s research community. The city is the venue for the 2009 ASME-STLE International Joint Tribology Conference, an event with a proud tradition dating back some 50 years. This year’s conference is Oct. 19-21 at the Memphis Marriott Downtown Hotel and Memphis Cook Convention Center.

The IJTC remains a unique event for researchers. Hundreds of thought-leaders from around the world will share cutting-edge tribology research in a well-coordinated, 15-track technical program. Presenters are from academia, research laboratories, industry and government agencies.

Continuing a trend started last year, the IJTC Planning Committee, chaired by Dr. Andreas Polycarpou, is placing greater emphasis on practical-oriented papers. While academic papers and student posters remain a critically important meeting component, the committee is making a concerted effort to better connect tribology research to industry and end-users.

The IJTC truly is an international event, making it a phenomenal networking experience. The best and brightest minds from more than 20 nations, including the U.S., Israel, Taiwan, Canada, India, Japan, China and the Netherlands, are presenting their work.

The planning committee has added a few wrinkles to this year’s program. One technical track of special note is The Herbert S. Cheng Tribology Symposium. Dr. Cheng, the Walter P. Murphy Professor and Director, Center for Engineering Tribology, at Northwestern University, celebrates his 80th birthday this year, and this track honors his distinguished academic career.

Also new this year is the ASME International Graduate Workshop on Wind Energy and Tribology, which takes place on Sunday, Oct. 18. Organized by ASME’s Tribology Division, the objective of this program, which targets master’s and doctoral candidates, is to exchange research experiences and review recent developments in the fields of tribology and wind energy.  For more information on the workshop, contact Auburn University’s Rob Jackson at (334) 844-3340, robert.jackson@eng.auburn.edu.  If you’re interested, please look into it now. Participation is limited to 30.

Our IJTC keynote speaker this year is Prof. David B. Bogy from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California-Berkley, whose topic is “Air Bearings to the Rescue: Nanoscale Data Storage and Nanolithography for Manufacturing.”  Dr. Bogy’s credentials are too long to list here, but his research interests are in solid and fluid mechanics, as well as dynamics and tribology as applied to computer technology and data-storage systems. He also has worked in static and dynamic stress analysis in layered elastic media.

By now I hope you’ll agree that the IJTC is a dream come true for STLE members interested in tribology research. Non-members are welcome, too, by the way. You’ll find complete program, hotel and registration information at www.stle.org.  You can save $100 on the conference fee by registering on or before Oct. 1.

I’ll look forward to seeing you there.

Dave Scheetz, CLS, is an equipment builder engineer for ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties. 
You can reach him at david.k.scheetz@exxonmobil.com

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