You want education? We got education.

Greg Croce | TLT President's Report November 2018

STLE followed a three-point strategy to create the lubricant industry’s highest level of technical training.

STLE’s Education Committee has created a slate of 12 industry-specific courses for the 2019 STLE Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Nashville, Tenn. 

A couple of articles back I mentioned that I thought certification was STLE’s top offer to the lubricants industry. I still contend that is true. However, as we all realized several years back, you really cannot have a world-class certification program if you don’t have some sort of education program to go with it. Now, of course, you could, as STLE showed when we first launched certification without a comprehensive education program, but it really isn’t the way for us to meet our mission.

As you might know, prior to and while on STLE’s Executive Committee, I also served on our Education Committee. When I joined there were several great initiatives started, a few added and still a lot to come. Let me first say, STLE had always had a great metalworking education program in place thanks to the Metalworking Education and Training Committee; so much of what we improved upon for the rest of our education program was modeled after what that group had already done.

We started our annual meeting education program by providing 10 courses on various key subject areas in basic and advanced levels. We decided to move to 11 courses, and now we’re up to 12 course at the annual meeting! 

The first thing we did was polish course content. The typical way a course would come together was for our course chairs to contact various people they knew and ask them to prepare a module and show up at the annual meeting to present. Problems we ran into included overlap of content between modules, missing key information, different formats and, oh, the fun of a speaker getting pulled away on work and not showing up. 

So we started an effort (not finished yet) to work with instructors to improve each course by (1.) starting with a syllabus, (2.) using common format for all modules, (3.) peer reviewing all modules (for overlap and content) and, finally, adding speaker notes (in case someone needs to fill in). I’m happy to say we are more than 50% through the courses!

The second thing we did, which I am most proud of (and I had the least to contribute to), was the creation of the STLE Learning Pathways. In the past, candidates seeking certification would ask what they could do to prepare for the exams. We would always answer by saying, “Well, first of all, the exam requires that you have work experience supported by self-learning.” Unfortunately we then would give them a list of 20 books to read. 

The Education Committee came up with the great idea of giving candidates a sort of syllabus of things they need to review to tackle the self-education portion of preparedness. We formed a rather large group of experts and developed three levels of content for more than 10 different subject areas, all double peered reviewed. It is all on and available to members and non-members (members get some free content). If you haven’t reviewed this yet, I highly suggest you do; it is very well done.

The third initiative was to create an STLE-owned course, a course we can offer through the year and pass on to qualified individuals at the local section level for their education course. We formed the Lubricant Specialist Education Training Committee (LSET). Its job—develop a one-day course, STLE-owned, peer reviewed, with speakers notes, etc. I am proud to say it is done; we held a course last year, and one is scheduled for October. The next steps are to open the course to local sections and expand it to at least two days, maybe even three!

As you can see there is plenty going on to provide our members with the tools to Connect, Learn, Achieve.

Until next time, keep learning!
Greg Croce is Delo Brand technical manager for Chevron Products Co. in Richmond, Calif. You can reach him at