By Mike Dugger
Bringing Professionals Together
CMF Plus is another way STLE is connecting tribology research to industrial applications.
STLE has always been a place where multiple communities within our field come together. I have heard colleagues describe our society as a meeting place for those who call themselves “tribologists” and those who identify with the phrase “lubrication engineers.” In other words, STLE is a venue where those working on surface engineering, new materials, contact mechanics, bioengineering, etc., can exchange ideas with colleagues working with fluid lubricants and additives. Our name change from the American Society of Lubrication Engineers to STLE in 1987 reflects an acknowledgement of both our international audience and the important synergy between tribology and lubrication engineering.
Another important way that STLE brings people together is with the diversity of focus between basic research and industrial applications. These communities are, of course, interdependent. There would be no new products to market without basic research to investigate the mechanisms by which materials interact, perform and degrade. And there would be no funding for research without some market pull, no matter how far in the future, creating an interest and demand for new products. Even sponsors of the most basic research have as a long-term goal a positive impact on society through science and technology.
This duality of purpose is reflected in our membership structure, where we have both individual members and corporate members, whereas many other societies focus on one or the other. Corporate membership is a terrific value proposition, and for our corporate members who like our existing program the way that it is, those benefits and the associated cost structure are still available. In addition to the professional networking, certification and journal access that every individual member enjoys, basic corporate membership includes two free annual meeting registrations, two education courses and discounts on exhibit booth space and Commercial Marketing Forum registration.
As a result of our McKinley marketing study in recent years, we have taken that great value proposition and made it even better. Changes to the program were made to acknowledge the fact that the size and makeup of corporations are as varied as individual people, and some benefits appeal to some corporations more than others. For instance, global companies with 10,000 employees may value more online and onsite education discounts, while a U.S. company with 10 employees may be more interested in annual meeting registrations and courses.
The Commercial Marketing Forum (CMF) mentioned above began in 1995 under President Wayne Ward to provide our corporate members with a way to promote their products and services at the annual meeting outside of the technical sessions where commercial presentations are not permitted. Today STLE offers approximately 36 half-hour CMF time slots at every STLE annual meeting on Monday through Wednesday.
Further adding to the value of corporate membership and the reach of the Commercial Marketing Forum is this CMF Plus issue of TLT. Here CMF participants are offered the opportunity to adapt their presentation to a multipage spread in TLT at a special, highly discounted Corporate Member rate. I hope you will all enjoy learning about the products and services that our CMF Plus participants have to offer.
Corporate members are an important part of the diverse makeup of our society. If you would like to learn more about the recent additions to the corporate membership program or discuss ways in which you may tailor your company’s membership benefits to better fit the needs of your employees, our headquarters staff would be happy to help you get started.