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Presidents Message November 2009
David K. Scheetz

Greetings from Kyoto, Japan!
The World Tribology Congress was a first-rate event packed with tribology-related presentations.

Wow, what an awesome conference!  From the meeting venue, Kyoto International Conference Center in Japan, to the technical program, everything about the fourth World Tribology Congress was first-rate. 

Held in mid-September, the six-day WTC attracted more than 1,440 attendees—a packed house in today’s economic climate. Included were five full days of tribology-related presentations and a breath-taking opening ceremony featuring the Imperial Highness Prince Akishino.

The event boasted 11 technical tracks, 650 presentations and a trade show with 63 exhibitors. Some 80-plus posters were presented each day for an excess of 250 posters. 
The WTC Planning Committee stepped out of the traditional technical motif by contacting local elementary and high schools and inviting them to send math- and science-oriented students to view a special group of “kid-friendly” exhibits. Let me tell you, this was exciting. STLE had a booth, manned by a dozen members, but we were not part of the kid-friendly exhibits, which included a talking and trumpet-playing robot that really pulled in the kids (and more than a few curious adults).  These interactive presentations were in Japanese, so I was left out, but, looking at the smiles and listening to the giggles and laughs, this was just flat out exciting and rewarding for both students and the exhibitors. 

STLE Immediate Past President Robert Bruce and I were invited to attend a business lunch with the WTC Organizing Committee and the officers of the Japanese Society of Tribology (JAST). We had a wonderful exchange of ideas that included meetings about how the societies can and should work together in the future. 
We also participated in the International Tribology Council meeting, of which Dr. H. Peter Jost is president. There were between two and three dozen different countries and societies present, and the biggest issue debated was where to hold the next World Tribology Congress. Professor Enrico Ciulli of the Universita` Di Pisa, Pisa, Italy, was very convincing that the WTC 2013 should and must be held in Torino, Italy.  When the voting was over, Torino was selected as the site of the next WTC.

Speaking of Dr. Jost, he was made an STLE Fellow at our 2009 Annual Meeting & Exhibition last May. Peter was not able to attend that meeting, but the WTC and JAST gave us an opportunity to finally present him with his Fellow award. This really was an outstanding opportunity to honor the man who coined the word “tribology” in front of the next generation of tribologists. 


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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