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Presidents Message April 2009
Becoming Web-savvy
by Robert W. Bruce

STLE is moving forward with a host of new member benefits that you can access 24/7.
Pen and paper are my favorites, but in this day and age one has to be Web savvy to get around. STLE can help. Multiyear funding for improvements to the STLE Web site has produced noticeable results with the completion of the latest phase.

Among the upgrades:
  • We have an online event calendar.
  • Available now is a fully searchable record of all the papers published in Tribology Transactions and ASLE Transactions. Individual papers now can be downloaded.
  • We have started loading TLT and Lubrication Engineering articles and papers.
  • Members can renew their membership, register for meetings and buy books online without involving staff.
  • Connectivity. The STLE Web site provides links to a large number of safe and helpful sites and facilitates networking to a level not seen before.
  • Local sections, technical committees and industry councils have their own pages that can be accessed by their members.
  • The Editorial and Publications Committee is providing oversight of the Web site to ensure that the proper information is provided correctly, checked and verified.
That last point is very dear to me because I have run into several occasions were information gathered on the Internet was clearly wrong, deceptive or used in the wrong context. STLE has an excellent reputation for its print materials, and we want to extend that level of excellence to the information on our Web site.

Another exciting development regarding STLE’s Web site is the capability to provide educational information online that can be accessed when needed. The Education Committee, under chairman Neil Canter and STLE director of professional development Bob Gresham, is developing Webinars covering some of the most requested education sessions. Fulfilling the need for on-demand education has been a long-time society objective and it is now within our capability.

As part of this electronically available education material I would like to see the Golden Oldies series of Lubrication Engineering education articles on the Web site. These articles have stood the test of time and were reprinted several times, always with very favorable response.

The latest development is the electronic version of TLT. Publisher Tom Astrene gave a demonstration during the winter board meeting, and it was fabulous. The digital edition shows the two pages you see when you physically open the magazine and turn the pages.

Tom also showed how advertisers can add audios and visuals to their ads as well as direct links to their Web sites. The digital TLT also will be posted on our Web site. Members will have access to a searchable archive of past issues, which as time goes by will develop into an incredible information resource.

I admit that I currently receive my subscription magazines in paper format, but my younger colleagues much prefer the electronic, and I must say that Tom’s demonstration was so impressive that I am going to give the electronic version a try the moment it becomes available. Maybe even this old dog can learn a new trick. We’ll be demonstrating this new member benefit at STLE’s 2009 Annual Meeting & Exhibition in May.

So after many years of continued investments, we are now in a position to electronically reach out to members and others to provide information and education over the Web.  Isn’t it time for all of us to become Web savvy?
Bob Bruce is principal engineer, tribology, at GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati.  

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