Connect with your STLE Member colleagues in a casual and meaningful way in a virtual environment.

Why attend an Industry Insights event?
Collaborate with your STLE industry peers and an expert on the topic who will give a brief presentation, then facilitate conversation by asking discussion questions and providing actionable takeaways. Group size will be limited to enhance dialogue and lead to a dynamic exchange of ideas.

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Upcoming Event

April 23, 2024 @ 10 AM CDT
Trending Concepts in Biolubricants - My Experience

Industry Insights discussions are free to STLE Members only. Please note there is limited seating for this event.

As customer needs have evolved, so has the need for new base oil technologies and additives. In this presentation Dr. Beaver will discuss his experiences with customers, technology, and regulatory drivers that are sometimes encouraging, and often downright forcing development and adoption of biolubricants. He will cover the primary considerations when formulating biolubricants and review the many challenges faced by the industry including base oil and additive supply, product stability, OEM approvals, and customer education. He will also discuss his experiences presenting biolubricants in a market that often does not understand the technology, the applications, the value, or the limitations of the various technologies being offered.

Presenter: Larry Beaver, RSC Bio Solutions, LLC
Dr. Larry Beaver has been in  the lubricant industry for twenty-four years, first in the field of conventional lubricants and now for the past seven years focused on “biolubricants” development for a variety of markets served by RSC Bio Solutions. 


March 22, 2024
The Science of Tribological Wear in Joint Arthroplasty

This STLE member exclusive encompasses the multifactorial mechanisms of wear plays a significant role in the development of various medical device including artificial joints. Understanding the influence of wear behavior, friction, and lubrication regimes in these systems are essential to designing robust, successful joint replacements. Although wear mechanisms of modern materials are well understood, further investigation of tribological behavior under high demand and adverse conditions is a challenging issue which must be addressed. There is a push to standardize new methods to better rank new materials, challenge designs, and compare across labs globally.

Presenter: Elizabeth Hippensteel, J&J MedTech, DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction

Elizabeth Hippensteel is a Staff Scientist with J&J MedTech at DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction (Warsaw, IN, USA). She joined DePuy in 2002 and has worked in various roles within R&D. Currently, she leads the Kinematics testing team on hip, knee, and shoulder joint replacement new product development and lifecycle management projects. She is also involved in developing new test methods to challenge joints in new and adverse ways and contributes these efforts to standardizing practices within the ASTM and ISO communities.

October 26, 2023
A Tribology Frontiers Conference Preview:

Designing surfaces to optimize performance and production efficiency

Surface coatings and surface texture control the friction, adhesion, and wear of contacting components, as well as the lubrication and leakage of bearings and seals. For tooling and dies, suboptimal surface finish leads to production problems and downtime. However, the “optimal” surface finish varies by application. In this Industry Insights event, we will first discuss the limitations of traditional trial-and-error methods for selecting surface finish. Then, we will demonstrate how to use science-guided and machine-learning approaches to find the surface finish that optimizes a key performance metric, like product lifetime or production efficiency.

Speaker / Moderators: Tevis Jacobs, Surface Design Solutions
Tevis Jacobs is the President of Surface Design Solutions. He has worked in tribology and surfaces for 17 years in both fundamental research and in manufacturing. He currently leads efforts to find practical solutions to surface-finish problems in electronics, medical devices, and industrial manufacturing.

Speaker: Lars Pastewka, Surface Design Solutions
Lars Pastewka is the Director of Technology of Surface Design Solutions. His 20 years of tribology experience have been in applying modeling, simulation, and data-science to tribology. He is developing physics-informed machine-learning to find optimal surface-finish solutions.

September 27, 2023
Current Market Drivers and the Future of E-Mobility Development

Even though the industry is just implementing the true first generation electric drive fluids (ETFs), the leaders in the industry are continuing the development of the hardware technology at an ever accelerating rate. This is driving the lubricant industry to develop and implement of the next generation ETF chemistry faster than at any time. In this presentation, we will share some insights from the industry and how this will influence the ETF technology over the next 4-5 years.

Presenter / Moderator: Chris Cleveland, Afton Chemical Corp.
Christopher Cleveland is R&D technical director at Afton Chemical Corporation where he has worked for 15 years in transmission fluid research and development. Currently, he leads the ATF Formulation team, which is responsible for the development of performance additives for the next generation transmission fluids, AT, DCT, CVT, eV, in collaboration with key customers and OEM partners.

Presenter: Brent Brennan, Sr., Afton Chemical Corp.
Brent Brennan is the Americas Sr. Marketing Manager for ATF and eMobility at Afton Chemical. Brennan has been in the industry for nearly 30 years, beginning his career with Castrol Industrial and later Evonik. He has work for Afton Chemical for 17 years, spending time in Global Business in Industrial and Fuels prior to beginning his current role in January 2020.

August 23, 2023

Perfluoro- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (known as PFAS) have gained increasing attention over the past few years due to concerns about potential health risks. PFAS and PFAS derivatives are potentially found in a wide range of applications including cosmetics, food containers, nonstick cookware, aqueous film-forming foams and lubricants. Due to contamination, PFAS has been detected in soil and in drinking water. The objective of this program is to answer questions about PFAS that STLE Members may be asking. Included will be a definition for PFAS, what are their health and safety concerns, in what materials is PFAS potentially present, what global regulations are being proposed to restrict PFAS exposure in the environment, and what steps are being taken to minimize the presence of PFAS in finished materials and lubricants.

The panelists will start the program with a brief presentation on PFAS to answer these questions and then attendees will be encouraged to express their concerns and ask questions about this class of substances.

Presenter / Moderator: Dr. Neil Canter, Chemical Solutions
Neil Canter has been working in the lubricant industry for over 35 years. Since 1995, he has been running his own consulting company, Chemical Solutions which specializes in commercial development, marketing, product development, and regulatory support for the lubricant industry. Canter is the STLE Tech Advisor and author of the 4th STLE Emerging Issues and Trends Report. He is responsible for writing the monthly Tech Beat column in STLE’s TLT magazine. Canter is a member of the STLE Education Committee, STLE Metalworking Education & Training Committee and Program Chair for the STLE Philadelphia Section. He is a past member of the STLE Board of Directors.

Presenter: Benjamin Gould, Senior Principle Materials Scientist, The Chemours Company

Khalid Malik, 
Lead Auditor, General Nuclear Oversight, Ontario Power Generation

John Howell, 
GHS Resources Inc

July 25, 2023
STLE Emerging Trends Report

This presentation will provide an overview of the new STLE report which maps future trends in tribology and lubrication. STLE builds on a multiphase research effort to evaluate current trends and predict future developments impacting the tribology and lubrication engineering field. Current trends are classified into six key topic areas that will affect the tribology and lubrication business in 2023 and beyond. For more information about the trends report click here.

Presenter / Moderator: Dr. Neil Canter, Chemical Solutions
Neil Canter has been working in the lubricant industry for over 35 years. Since 1995, he has been running his own consulting company, Chemical Solutions which specializes in commercial development, marketing, product development, and regulatory support for the lubricant industry. Canter is the STLE Tech Advisor and author of the 4th STLE Emerging Issues and Trends Report. He is responsible for writing the monthly Tech Beat column in STLE’s TLT magazine. Canter is a member of the STLE Education Committee, STLE Metalworking Education & Training Committee and Program Chair for the STLE Philadelphia Section. He is a past member of the STLE Board of Directors.

Presenter / Moderator: Dr. Nicholas Argibay, Ames National Laboratory

Dr. Nicolas Argibay is a staff scientist and group leader at the US DOE Ames National Laboratory in the Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering. He joined Ames in 2021, having formerly been a scientist in the Physical and Chemical Sciences Center at the US DOE Sandia National Laboratories. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 2011 and joined the research staff at Sandia in 2013 following a postdoctoral appointment in the same organization. His work focuses on developing materials and processing solutions for energy sustainability, with recent emphasis on design of alloys and composites for use at extreme temperatures and in harsh environments. This work is in support of DOE Energy Earth Shot Initiatives, including the transition of power generation to green hydrogen, decarbonization of the industrial sector, increasing offshore wind energy production, and enabling next-generation fission and fusion energy sources. This work has led to materials discoveries including extremely wear resistant electrical contact alloys (highly stable nanocrystallinity via grain boundary engineering), design of high-entropy alloys to enable competitive engineering outcomes with metals additive manufacturing (near-net shape), and fundamental discoveries about the ultimate strength of metals. He has generated 56 publications in peer-reviewed journals (h-index 24), 7 issued patents, and is the recipient of an R&D 100 award, the 31st HENAAC award for most promising scientist or engineer, and two FLC awards for innovation.

Presenter / Moderator: Dr. Aaron Greco, Argonne National Laboratory
Aaron Greco is the Group Manager for Argonne National Laboratory’s Materials for Harsh Conditions group in the Applied materials division. he also serves as Principal Investigator on a project designed to improve the reliability of wind turbine drivetrains. The team accomplishes this through systemic investigation of field failures, such as surface contact failures of bearings and gears, and through laboratory testing of material and lubricant technologies to mitigate failures. Greco also supports research efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles through the development of various lubricant and surface treatment technologies to reduce frictional losses.

Greco has more than 10 years’ experience in the field of tribology and advanced surface engineering, specifically as it relates to vehicle and wind turbine drivetrains. His research interests include advanced surface treatments, nanoparticle lubricant additive technology and rolling contact fatigue. Greco recently completed a 15-month assignment at the U.S. Department of Energy headquarters within the Wind and Water Power Technology Office, where he provided technical management support to team leadership. Prior to joining Argonne, Greco was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies.

April 25, 2023
Improving Fuel Efficiency by Selecting the Right Oil

This Industry Insights session will begin by providing a deeper understanding of both how viscosity is influenced by temperature, pressure and shear energy and how engine oils are graded, so that this knowledge can be applied to the selection of a motor oil grade that has the ability to improve the fuel efficiency of passenger vehicles. The session will conclude with some insight on how the automotive industry has been quietly shifting in this direction for the last 45 years.

Presenter/Moderator: Evan Zabawski, Eurofins TestOil
Evan Zabawski is senior technical advisor for Eurofins TestOil. He is an STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist™ (CLS) with diplomas in chemical engineering and 4th class power engineering. He has extensive experience training tradesmen and professionals in a variety of fields, including lubrication fundamentals, contamination control, condition monitoring and used oil analysis.

Zabawski has been an STLE member for more than 20 years, serving as chair of the Alberta Section for eight years, and also as an instructor of the Condition Monitoring course at STLE annual meetings.

Zabawski is former editor of TLT and has served as the editor for the STLE Alberta Section’s Basic Handbook of Lubrication, Third Edition. He also contributed as one of the editors for STLE/CRC’s Handbook of Lubrication and Tribology, Volume II: Theory and Design, Second Edition. You can reach him at

March 22, 2023
Ester-based fluids for electric vehicles

EV fluid experts from Cargill discuss the role that ester-based fluids have in formulating high-performance dielectric fluids. Topics covered will include challenges in EV thermal management, methods of cooling, choosing the right cooling fluid and the advantages that esters can bring when formulating fluids for electric vehicles.

Presenter/Moderator: Dr. Bethan Warren, Cargill Energy Technologies
Bethan is a Lead Applications Scientist working within Cargill Energy Technologies. After graduating from the University of York in 2014 with a master’s degree in chemistry, she went on to study for a Ph.D. at the University of Leeds, looking at the interaction between automatic transmission fluid additives and copper surfaces. Since 2018, Bethan’s work has focused on the changing lubrication requirements for electric vehicles and the development of dielectric cooling fluids for automotive batteries.

Dr. Gareth Moody, Cargill Energy Technologies

Gareth is a Research and Technology Specialist within Cargill Energy Technologies. He specializes in automotive lubricant applications. His focus is on EVs and in particular, base oils for improved efficiency and thermal management. Gareth has a Ph.D. in engine oil antioxidants from the University of York.

February 15, 2023
Aerospace Material Pairs and Rotorcraft Lubricant Rheology
Recent work at Timken has improved fidelity of our modeling of lubricant behavior in elasto-hydrodynamic (EHL) contacts. Employing the capability of our high-pressure rheology laboratory, we have characterized the lubricant rheology at pressures comparable to rolling contact. This has improved our modeling of power loss in bearings. Also, in support of recent trends in aerospace platforms regarding the adoption of ceramic hybrid rolling bearings, we will also briefly discuss the tribological testing of common aerospace bearing materials, comparing all-steel and ceramic hybrid combinations.

Presenter/Moderator: John Lowry, Chief Engineer-Aerospace, The Timken Company

John Lowry has served as Chief Engineer for Aerospace since 2011. Prior to being named chief engineer, Lowry was a program manager for Timken's Wind Energy business. He also previously served in roles as program manager in technology new product development, worked as Six Sigma expert, and as a product development engineer. Before joining Timken in 1999, Lowry worked for Emerson Electric at the Motor Technology Center in St. Louis for five years as a senior development engineer. He also had experience as a research associate at Battelle Memorial Institute and The Ohio State University.

January 17, 2023
Oil Analysis Limitations

A common issue related to oil analysis report interpretation deals with a perceived necessity for the results from two or more different tests to indicate the same potential problem. This expectation, which may be based on a misconception, often leads to greater confusion. This webinar will help clear the confusion by explaining which tests do or do not correlate, and under which circumstances. 

Presenter/Moderator: Evan Zabawski, CLS, Senior Technical Advisor, Eurofins TestOil

Evan Zabawski is senior technical advisor for Eurofins TestOil. He is an STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist™ (CLS) with diplomas in chemical engineering and 4th class power engineering. He has extensive experience training tradesmen and professionals in a variety of fields, including lubrication fundamentals, contamination control, condition monitoring and used oil analysis.

Zabawski has been an STLE member for more than 20 years, serving as chair of the Alberta Section for eight years, and also as an instructor of the Condition Monitoring course at STLE annual meetings.

Zabawski is former editor of TLT and has served as the editor for the STLE Alberta Section’s Basic Handbook of Lubrication, Third Edition. He also contributed as one of the editors for STLE/CRC’s Handbook of Lubrication and Tribology, Volume II: Theory and Design, Second Edition.

You can reach Zabawski at

December 13, 2022
New Horizons for Aviation Tribology with Spin-Off to E-Mobility/Sustainment

Lavern's discussion forum to learn about the following subjects: 

  • There are lessons learned through 50 years of aviation and aerospace tribology that provide new horizons for the future. Let’s share some thoughts.
  • The tribology engineering of the contact interface, traditionally designed around the lambda ratio (h/s), needs to be expanded and transformed to motion-driven mechanisms characterized by interface hydrodynamics (hi) and surface integrity (si), i.e., h/s becomes hi/si. Let’s discuss.
  • Tribology-by-Design (T/D) is a theory, test/analysis tools, methodology, process, strategy, and a means to solutionsLet’s discuss T/D and how it can be applied to e-mobility/sustainment.

Presenter/Moderator: Lavern D. Wedeven, Wedeven Associates, Inc.
Lavern (Vern) Wedeven is president of Wedeven Associates, Inc., Edgemont, PA a specialty, high tech, entrepreneurial company devoted to tribology research and development. He and his associates have developed specialized tribology test machines, test methodologies, and analysis tools that link fundamental principles of tribology to service applications. Wedeven Associates Machine (WAM) technology provides tribology research capability for major bearing companies, military laboratories, and research institutes. Vern Wedeven is involved in major research projects and consulting that serve aerospace and other industries.

Vern Wedeven is a graduate of Calvin University (BS), University of Michigan (BSME), and Imperial College, London (Ph.D.)  Previous employment includes NASA Glenn Res Ctr., NASA Hdqts., and SKF-America. He is the author of over seventy technical papers in tribology and several chapters in reference books. He holds three patents and is the recipient of several awards from STLE, ASME, and SAE.

November 15, 2022
Varnish MythBusters

Lube oil varnish has been an issue plaguing the users of rotating equipment and hydraulic systems for years. Most people understand that varnish is comprised of oil-derived deposits, however it is amazing how little is still understood about varnish. Even more damaging are myths about varnish, that are not based on science, as financial decisions are made based on this inaccurate information. This event will examine several myths about varnish and discuss whether they are in fact accurate or if the myth is “busted”. Half of the session is also dedicated to audience questions. Do you have a question about varnish? Here’s your chance to talk with the experts to get an answer…based in science.

Moderator: Elaine Hepley CLS, OMA, Data Analysis Manager, POLARIS Laboratories
Elaine Hepley currently serves as Chair of STLE's Oil Monitoring Analyst (OMA) Committee and recently joined Matt Hobbs as the Paper Solicitation Chair (PSC) of STLE's Power Generation Technical Committee. Elaine specializes in varnish analysis and manages the program. She recently released new varnish testing techniques and has published an article about it in Lube Magazine. She is also an active member of the local STLE Lower River Valley Section.  

Greg Livingstone, Chief Innovation Officer, Fluitec
Greg Livingstone is Chief Innovation Officer for Fluitec. He has three decades of industrial lubrication experience focused on how lubricants degrade and how to mitigate the risks associated with oil failure. He’s developed oil analysis tests, filtration technologies, solubility enhancers and other technologies used to increase the life and performance of industrial lubricants. He also has expertise in life cycle assessment to measure lubricant decarbonization efforts. He has volunteered in multiple industry organizations such as STLE, ICML, and ASTM. Along his journey, he's published over 70 papers on these subjects and has helped clients in over 50 countries.

Matthew G. Hobbs, PhD, Manager, Technical Services, Research & Development, EPT Clean Oil
Before joining EPT, Matt obtained his PhD in synthetic chemistry from the University of Calgary and was the General Manager of a national oil analysis laboratory. Matt is an active member of the ASTM D02.C01 Committee for turbine lubricants, and was recently recognized by ASTM with an Award of Merit for his contributions. Matt is also the chair of STLE’s Power Generation Technical Committee and contributed to the creation of ICML’s Varnish Deposit and Prevention Badges.

October 20, 2022
Tribology & Sustainability: How You Can Integrate into Your Plant Reliability Program

Lubrication and Reliability have taken on a whole new meaning with new corporate responsibility to achieve “net zero” or “carbon neutrality” by 2035-50 and how as Tribologists or Reliability Engineers do we look at all the avenues that we can utilize to achieve and document this goal. The UN explains the difference between sustainable development and sustainability as follows: “Sustainability is often thought of as a long-term goal while sustainable development refers to the many processes and pathways to achieve it”

We will look at new and old lubrication formulation, technology and how to implement Tribology knowledge into your plant reliability strategy to lower your GHG or carbon footprint.

Moderator: Doug Sackett, Senior Field Engineer/Blender QA/QC Manager, TotalEnergies USA

Doug Sackett is senior field engineer/blender QA/QC manager for TotalEnergies USA. He has more than 20 years of experience in the lubrication industry focusing on power generation, production and mining and providing lubrication services, including lubricant selection, oil sampling, oil reclamation, filtration and vacuum dehydration, filter selection to ensure oil quality and purification standards for ensuring a reliability lubrication best-in-class program. He previously was general manager for a lubricant distributorship for 12 years helping develop the most stringent requirements for delivery of bulk and package lubricants to the end-user. He was first runner-up for Maintenance and Technology Magazine’s Innovator of the Year Award in 2012 for the delivery processes and procedures ensuring ISO cleanliness specifications to the end-customer and helping evaluate and redesign the complete lubrication delivery program. He also redesigned a complete lubrication program for phosphate plants. Sackett holds the STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist™ (CLS) certification and is immediate past chair of the STLE CLS Certification Committee and elected to the STLE BOD in 2022. He was a TLT Technical Editor in 2018.

Joe Goecke, Sr. Technical Services Advisor, HF Sinclair
Joe Goecke, Sr. Technical Services Advisor, HF Sinclair joined Petro-Canada in 2013. He was the Director of Industrial Operations for Apollo Oil from 2009 – 2013 and Technical Service Specialist from 1992 thru 2009.  Joe has been a member of STLE since 2009 and holds certifications for CLS, OMAI and CMFS.  He has served on the STLE CLS Committee since 2010.  He earned his Biology Degree from NKU

September 14, 2022
Bioderived (not just biobased) Lubricants 

As sustainability becomes more important in the industry, formulators are looking at alternative basestocks to simultaneously meet environmental and performance requirements.

Dr. Bill Tuszynski will lead this open discussion in exploring the pros and cons of bioderived basestocks such as vegetable oils, synthetic esters, estolides, and bio-derived hydrocarbons. Participants are invited to share their experiences formulating with bioderived basestocks and the considerations that govern the choice for a particular application.

Moderator: Bill Tuszynski is a partner at The Unami Group LLC, serving as a sales agent for Desilube, Functional Products, Van Horn Metz, and Zschimmer & Schwarz, and providing market development and market research consulting to multiple clients.

Early on, Tuszynski realized that he lacked the talent to play Major League Baseball, so he received his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Manhattan College and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Cornell University. He started his industrial career in 1982 doing applications research at Pennwalt Corp. (now part of Arkema) in amines and thiochemicals before moving to a business development position in 1989. He then went to Inolex where he eventually managed the Industrial Division supplying polyester polyols to urethane producers and synthetic esters for lubricants. In 2005, together with two former co-workers, he purchased Ivanhoe Industries, a chemical distributor based in Tullytown, Pa. He retired from Ivanhoe at the beginning of 2016 to form the Unami Group—although he remains as a sales agent for the company, now part of Van Horn Metz.

Tuszynski is a member of STLE, NLGI, American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a past chair of the STLE Philadelphia Section and received the Clarence E. Earle Memorial Award from NLGI in 2015 and 2022, serving as editor and co-editor for the NLGI Lubricating Grease Guide. He also is an active volunteer at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia.

August 16, 2022
Post Machining Cleaning - How to Pick the Right Surfactant For the Job

With the hundreds of available surfactants on the market to incorporate into a metal cleaning formulation, the task of picking the correct surfactant can be daunting. Determining whether your formulation requires emulsification or rejection of foreign oil is critical for selecting the proper surfactant in a cleaning formulation. Understanding surfactant performance with various soil types, metal types, and pH stability will help the end-user achieve their desired cleanliness. The backbone of the surfactant chemistry will determine the functionality of the surfactant and its application performance. This paper will define trends associated with different surfactant chemistries and how to apply this theory to developing a cleaning formulation.

Presenter: Stephanie Cole, Jacob Ritter, & Bailey Masters Clariant Corporation

Stephanie Cole joined Clariant Corporation in July 2019 and is working as the Formulation Chemist for North America's Industrial Lubricants business unit. Stephanie has eight years of knowledge in the industrial lubricant, including industrial cleaning formulation and application and metalworking fluid formulation and application. Her current position at Clariant Corporation is to translate customer needs into technical solutions by understanding the application benefits of Clariant's portfolio through formulation and data generation. Stephanie received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a minor in marketing at the University of Houston, Texas.

Jacob Ritter joined Clariant Corporation in late 2015 and is currently the Senior Chemist leading new product development and scale-up activities for the Industrial and Consumer Specialties business unit in North America. Jacob received his BS in Inorganic Chemistry from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MS in Inorganic Chemistry from The University of California, Irvine. Starting in the Consumer Care lab, Jacob now works closely with application chemists across a wide variety of industries to design, scale-up, and launch new and innovative chemistries.

Bailey Masters joined Clariant Corporation in 2017 and is currently a chemist that specializes in new product development and scale up for the Industrial and Consumer Specialties business unit in North America. Bailey received her BS in Chemistry from Wofford College, located in South Carolina. Starting with the Aviation team, she works with both customers and her formulation colleagues in order to create the exact molecule to fit their needs.

July 18, 2022
Simulation of noise and vibration of systems with real rolling bearings

Noise and vibration (NVH) is becoming a more emphasized performance criteria not only for single components like rolling bearings, but also for complex systems like drive trains or gearboxes. For life and friction assessment of these systems ideal component geometries are typically used and sufficient for the design. For NVH, tolerances of the components and their interaction is much more important and cannot be neglected. For some issues single component simulations are sufficient to optimize the design for NVH. The interaction of components, impact on system level (i.e., perception of the customer) can only be assessed by system investigations. Due to the huge set of geometry parameters, tolerances and operating conditions, simulation is the only efficient way to the optimum design. In this session Dr. Grillenberger will show the simulation approaches on NVH design for single bearings and complete rotatory systems. 

Presenter: Dr. Hannes Grillenberger
STLE member Dr. Hannes Grillenberger is key expert on rolling bearing fundamentals at the automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler, with a focus on rolling element bearing noise. He joined Schaeffler’s fundamentals department in 2012 after receiving his doctorate in physics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. During that time, he developed a laboratory detection method for oxygen precipitates in semiconductor silicon, measuring their growth in situ at 1,000 C using high-energy X-rays.

Since joining Schaeffler, Grillenberger has worked on simulation methods for rolling element bearing friction, cage strength and noise, the latter of which has been his primary area of focus for the past seven-plus years. He holds several patents and conference awards and frequently publishes journal technical papers and presents at industry conferences.

Grillenberger is currently a member of the STLE Annual Meeting Program Committee. In addition, he organizes the discussion roundtables for both the STLE Annual Meeting, as well as the Tribology Exchange Workshop co-hosted by STLE and the European Lubricating Grease Institute (ELGI). As part of STLE’s Annual Meeting, Grillenberger also is responsible for lecturing on the topic of dynamic assessment of rolling bearings during the rolling element bearings education course program, which is co-presented by the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA) and STLE.

June 15, 2022

Improved Throughput and Analysis of Scratch Test Results via Automation and Machine Learning The STLE Early Career Research Poster Award Winner

A data analysis automation interface that incorporates machine learning (ML) has been developed to improve productivity, efficiency, and consistency in identifying and defining critical load values (or other values associated with optically identifiable characteristics) of a coating when a scratch test is performed. An optical examination of the scratch by a human operator is currently used to determine where this value occurs. However, the vagueness of the standard has led to varying interpretations and nonuniform usage by different operators at different laboratories where the test is implemented, resulting in multiple definitions of the desired parameter. Using a standard set of training and validation images to create the dataset, the critical load can be identified consistently amongst different laboratories using the automation interface without requiring the training of human operators. When the model was used in conjunction with an instrument manufacturer’s scratch test software, the model produced accurate and repeatable results and defined LC2 values in as little as half of the time compared to a human operator. When combined with a program that automates other aspects of the scratch testing process usually conducted by a human operator, scratch testing and analysis can occur with little to no intervention from a human beyond initial setup and frees them to complete other work in the lab.

Presenter: Hannah Hui Aun Lim, Tribology Technologist, Sandia National Laboratories

April 19, 2022

Atomistic Understanding of Grease Tribolayers on Bearings Surfaces 

Grease lubricated bearings are commonly utilized in the industrial applications like construction and mining, cement, steel and aluminum mills, food machinery, paper and pulp, and wind turbines. Greases and thickener chemistries have a big impact on the bearing lubrication. This study investigates morphological and compositional characteristics of grease-generated tribolayers at an atomistic level. Tribolayers from lithium-based and polyurea based grease thickeners formed on 52100 bearing steel were investigated using atom probe tomography and transmission electron microscopy. The results reveal formation of multilayer chemistries resulting from tribochemical reactions between the steel interfaces, featuring evidence of oxygen diffusion, air pockets via mechanical deformation, and metallic clusters. The results indicate that the polyurea grease tribofilm’s amorphous nature, size of the air pockets, and top FeS layer provided exceptional friction and wear properties compared with tribofilm generated using greases with lithium complex thickeners.

Presenters: Dr. Kuldeep Mistry and Dr. Vikram Bedekar 

Dr. Kuldeep K. Mistry, PMP is a Program Manager for The Timken Company’s industrial bearings product portfolio in North Canton, Ohio. Dr. Mistry has led successfully multiple lubrication-related projects in The Timken Company and developed lubrication/solutions for several applications (automotive, industrial, wind, rail, heavy truck) within the company with his 15 years of experience. 

Dr. Mistry received his PhD from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom and his graduate studies were sponsored by ExxonMobil. As a principal investigator and postdoctoral scientist at the US Department of Energy, operated Argonne National Laboratory (Chicago area). Dr. Mistry led a >$500K project for three years and his work received R&D100 Award 2015: “Versatile Hard Carbon Microspheres Made from Plastic Waste.” Dr. Mistry is actively engaged in the tribology and lubrication research community by journal publications, presentations, and technical leadership. He has published several peer-reviewed papers, has three patents. Kuldeep is the current STLE board of directors since 2019. 

Dr. Vikram Bedekar is a Group Leader for The Timken Company’s R&D division in North Canton, Ohio, and has been a technical lead in advanced material characterization, induction hardening for ultra large wind bearings, heat treatment, coatings, hard machining and surface engineering for more than 17 years.  

Dr. Bedekar received his PhD from The Ohio State University while working full-time at Timken. In 2013, CIRP awarded Dr. Bedekar the prestigious F.W. Taylor medal for his work in hard turning. Overall, he has written over 25 peer-reviewed articles in prominent journals such as Acta Materialia, CIRP Annals, MSEA, and ICTP. Currently, he advises two PhD students in Georgia Tech and University of Cambridge UK through Timken sponsored collaborations. Active in serving the scientific communities, his volunteer roles include Industrial liaison at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Vice President of Public Relations at Toastmasters. 

March 15, 2022
Keys to Implementing a Successful In-Service Grease Analysis Program

New grease testing has been around nearly as long as modern greases have been manufactured to evaluate manufactured greases' performance and quality.  Standards have been introduced to ensure accurate and representative sampling, along with a broad test slate to help make decisions to optimize grease life and enhance asset performance. More recently, methods have been developed that focus on the unique challenges of taking representative samples and analyzing smaller grease volumes available when testing in-service greases. This testing allows us to evaluate the wear condition of the asset, along with the presence of contaminants and the physical condition of the grease. This presentation will present the steps necessary to set up a successful in-service grease analysis program that can help asset owners meet reliability goals, extend the grease and grease components' life, and optimize the grease's sustainability lubricated components.

Presenter/Moderator: Rich Wurzbach, President, MRG Laboratories

Rich Wurzbach has 25 years of experience in developing Condition Based Maintenance programs and the applications of diagnostic technologies for industrial equipment.  His expertise lies in the applications of Infrared Thermography, Lubricant Analysis, Airborne Ultrasound, and the integration of various diagnostic technologies for equipment assessment.

February 15, 2022
NLGI's New HPM Grease Specification
A brief overview of the new NLGI High-Performance Multiuse (HPM) grease specification and your questions answered.

Presenters: Chuck Coe, Joe Kaperick and Mike Kunselman

Chuck Coe holds a bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. He also holds the NLGI Certified Lubricating Grease Specialist (CLGS) and STLE Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS) professional certifications. He worked for Mobil and ExxonMobil for over 32 years, including six years as ExxonMobil's global grease technology manager and many years as an industrial oil and grease formulator and technical advisor. He retired from ExxonMobil and launched Grease Technology Solutions L.L.C., a grease training and consulting business, in 2009.

Chuck is a past president of NLGI, currently on the Board of Directors, and is the STLE Grease Education Course chair. Chuck has authored several technical papers and articles on grease and received Best Marketing Paper and Best Paper Awards from both NLGI (2008) and ELGI (2009). He also received both the John A. Bellanti Sr. Memorial Award (2012) and the NLGI Fellows Award (2015) from NLGI, along with the NLGI Award for Educational Excellence (2019). In 2021, he received the Award for Achievement, NLGI's highest award. He was most recently the technical lead for the development of the new NLGI High-Performance Multiuse (HPM) grease specification.

Joe Kaperick is a senior R&D advisor for greases at Afton Chemical Corporation. Joe began working for Afton as an analytical chemist in 1991 and moved to their Richmond, Va., headquarters in 1994.

Joe received a master's degree in analytical chemistry from St. Louis University as well as undergraduate degrees in chemistry, fine arts and classical humanities. He has been in the industrial R&D area with a primary focus on grease since 1999.

Joe is an active member of STLE, ASTM and ELGI and has been a member of the NLGI Board of Directors since 2007. He is currently serving as Past President on the NLGI Board.

Mike Kunselman is the business development manager at the Center for Quality Assurance (CQA), a privately owned company focused on quality and licensing programs that help consumers and lubricant users identify and select products to meet their needs.

After earning a bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering at Iowa State University, Mike formulated silicone elastomers for the construction, automotive and office equipment markets and called Japan and Korea home for a few years. A master’s of business administration degree from the University of Michigan led to marketing, business and procurement roles in industries ranging from microelectronics and hyper-pure polysilicon to fuels and lubricants.

Mike has worked with NLGI's experts since 2019 to make the High-Performance Multiuse (HPM) grease certification program a reality.

January 18, 2022

Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants and Sustainability

Corporate sustainability goals and the need to respect the environment, along with regulatory drivers, have pushed environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) to the forefront as a challenge to end-users, formulators and suppliers. End-users and OEMs are faced with the challenge of qualifying new lubricant technology in their equipment. Formulators must reach outside their traditional toolkit to develop products that meet the technical requirements while remaining economically competitive. Suppliers are challenged to modify existing solutions or develop new technologies to satisfy the demands of the industry.

Presenter: Dr. Bill Tuszynski
Dr. Bill Tuszynski of The Unami Group, LLC, will lead and moderate an open discussion of the drivers and benefits of the adoption of EALs and the impact on all segments of the industry and supply chain. Participants will be asked to share their perspectives on the issues surrounding the widespread adoption of EALs and how the industry can take steps to spur their development in the market. 

December 13, 2021
Wind Turbine Lubrication Challenges

Energy in the U.S. has surpassed 120 GW of installed capacity and continues to be a leading source of new generation additions. In 2020, wind power contributed the most energy compared to all other sources (solar, natural gas, etc.) at 18.5 GW. However, wind turbines are commonly plagued by reliability issues, including drivetrain components that experience unusually short lives. This is due to numerous reasons, many of which stem from lubrication issues. The replacement of these components comes at a very high cost due to these turbines' location and size. Furthermore, the industry is progressing to larger turbines, increasing power ranges from 0.75- 2.5 MW to 4-10 MW capacity, as well as moving turbine locations offshore, where access to the turbines becomes more costly, and environmental concerns of possible lubricant leakages arise.

Presenters: Dr. Selim Erhan & Dr. Aaron Greco
Selim Erhan has a Ph.D. in Organic-Polymer Chemistry from Western Michigan University.  After College he started as a research scientist at the National Center for Agricultural Research Service of the U.S, Department of Agriculture, on finding industrial applications for vegetable oils in areas such as rubber, paper, agricultural sprays, pharmaceuticals, food, lubricant, and oil field applications.  Later he moved into industry and worked as a research scientist formulating lubricants at D. A. Stuart Company, Georgia Pacific, Polartech, Afton, Elevance Renewable Sciences and worked on finished metalworking formulations, additive packages for metalworking fluids, oil field drilling products, cleaners, and lubricant formulations. Following market development for vegetable oils as the Global Commercial Development Manager for Industrial Oils at Archer Daniels Midland Company.  Currently Selim is the Director of Business Development, focusing on using the advantages of vegetable oils and derivatives in industrial applications at Process Oils Inc, an Ergon company.  

Dr. Aaron Greco is the manager of the Materials for Harsh Conditions Group at Argonne National Laboratory where he leads a team of scientists and engineers on research related to investigation of drivetrain failure mechanisms, advanced materials and manufacturing technology, development of advanced coatings and investigation of the fundamentals of materials tribology. Prior to this Greco held positions at the U.S. Department of Energy Wind Energy Technology Office and The National Academies as a science policy fellow. Greco has more than 14 years of experience in the field of tribology, specifically in the areas of contact failure analysis, surface engineering and nanoparticle lubricant additives. Greco has been involved with STLE since 2004 and has served on the Tribology Frontiers Conference’s Planning and Awards Committees. He has been an STLE Annual Meeting technical session chair and associate editor of Tribology Transactions. He has received STLE honors for publishing excellence and poster presentations, a scholarship from the STLE Chicago Section and the ASME Burt L. Newkirk Award. Greco received his bachelor’s of science degree from Iowa State University and doctorate degree from Northwestern University, both in mechanical engineering.

November 16, 2021
Biotribology – Current Directions and Challenges

Biotribology is a rapidly growing and highly multidisciplinary field. Biological systems are notoriously difficult to study because of their complex structure and environment. Their mechanical properties commonly fall outside the ranges studied with traditional tribometers, and laboratory testing of tissue samples at realistic conditions is very difficult. This Industry Insight will focus on ongoing challenges in measurement and testing, fundamental understanding, and prediction of the tribological properties of biological systems.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Marina Ruths
Marina Ruths has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She did postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois and at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz and is now a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research focuses on direct measurements of interfacial forces and friction of polymers and polyelectrolytes, self-assembled structures, and surfaces with different roughness, including model systems for biological surfaces.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Raw Material Shortages and the Effect on Formulating New Products

Disruptions in the supply chain have impacted everyone, whether at the Chemical Manufacturing end to the Finished Part Supplier and everyone in between. From a formulator’s perspective, this disruption can significantly impact producing and delivering current products and developing anything new. The need to consolidate raw materials becomes a primary focus during development and even in reformulations. This Industry Insight will focus on current reasons for shortages and consider possible ways of overcoming them.

Presenter Bio: Jennifer Lunn
Jennifer Lunn has a BS in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University. She spent the first 17 years of her career in various positions at The Lubrizol Corporation, including Research and Development of Additives, Research and Development of Metalworking Formulations, Metalworking Product Manager for North and South Americas, and Project Manager for Hydraulic and Industrial Gear Oils. Jennifer has been the Senior Research Chemist and Product Manager for JTM Products, Inc.’s Metalworking Division in the past four years. She focuses her time on formulating high-performing innovative products that meet the ever-changing landscape of the Metalworking Industry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Electric Vehicle Fluids – Requirements and Testing

As electric vehicles (EVs) become mainstream, with many manufacturers claiming to drop internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle production entirely, there is increased need for tailor-made EV fluids.  With this comes the need to test these lubricants to demonstrate compatibility and differentiation. This Industry Insight will focus on current and potential future EV fluid requirements and consider possible testing methods for these EV fluids.

Presenters Bio: Dr. Peter Lee
After leaving school, Dr. Peter Lee qualified and worked as a motor vehicle technician for four years before attending university.  At the University of Leeds in the UK, he studied for an automotive engineering degree and was then asked by Shell and Infineum to study for a PhD in the field of automotive tribology.  After receiving his PhD in 2006, Peter was awarded a five-year Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship to continue his research in automotive tribology.  In 2011 he moved from the UK to San Antonio, Texas, where he established the Tribology Research and Evaluations Laboratory at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).  Initially being automotive focused, the labs are now multidisciplinary and have tested for all clientele from deep sea to deep space. Peter is part of the Advanced Fluids for Electrified Vehicles Consortium recently started at SwRI.