Perfecting Motion® is STLE's podcast series, hosted by STLE members and staff, that features conversations with leading industry professionals sharing their insights about being an STLE member, current issues, and trends impacting the global tribology and lubricants community.

In addition to listening, we encourage you to share the episode links with your colleagues, so others can learn more about our passionate and dedicated community. We also would appreciate you letting us know if you have any future topic suggestions for the podcast. If so, please submit your ideas to Robert Morowczynski at

All episodes are archived and available at, as well as your favorite podcast streaming apps (Apple and Google Podcasts, Spotify, etc.)

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Episode 16 | Engine Lubricant Testing

Contributors: Robert Morowczynski, STLE Director of Professional Development, Bill Anderson Afton Chemical, Robert Warden and Patrick Lang Southwest Research Institute.

Release date: June 24, 2024 | 35 min


This month’s episode focuses on engine lubricant testing methods.  We consider what drives engine test methods, types of tests, why we do them, and why we worry about them.  The discussion also goes into the differences between diesel and gasoline engines along with the special test fuel used for them.  Hosting this podcast is STLE board member Bill Anderson from Afton Chemical.  He is joined by guests Robert Warden and Patrick Lang both from the Southwest Research Institute.

Episode 15 |Titans of Tribology

Contributors:Robert Morowczynski, STLE Director of Professional Development, Doug Sackett, CLS, MLT, Senior Field Engineer/Blender QA/OC Manager, TotalEnergies Lubricants 

Release date: May 23, 2024 | 12 min


Join us for our first episode in a series we call "Titans of Tribology". For this installment, and fresh off receiving the Raymond Thibault Award at the 2024 STLE Annual Meeting, we interview STLE member Doug Sackett. Doug discusses his unlikely journey into the field of tribology, some mentors and their advice from along the way, and how STLE helped shape and guide him to success in his career.

Episode 14 | STLE Membership Benefits

Contributors: Julie O’Rouke, STLE Membership Manager, STLE President Hong Liang (Texas A&M University), STLE Vice President Jack McKenna (Sea-Land Chemical Co.), and STLE Treasurer Steffen Bots (LUBESERV)

Release date: April 17, 2024 | 21 min



In Episode 14, STLE Membership Manager Julie O'Rourke sits down with members of STLE's Executive Committee: STLE president Hong Liang (Texas A&M University), STLE Vice President Jack McKenna (Sea-Land Chemical Co.), and STLE Treasurer Steffen Bots (LUBESERV) to talk about the benefits that come with an STLE membership. The group discusses what it means to be an STLE member, how their membership has advanced their careers, and reflects on the mentors they have met along the way that could have only been facilitated by being a part of the STLE community.


Episode 13 | Women in Tribology

Contributors: Rebecca Lintow, STLE Executive Director, Mandi McElwain, Senior Sales Account Manager, Univar Solutions; Fran Lockwood, President, Solar Energy Solutions LLC

Release date: March 26, 2024 | 18 min


In Episode 13, we continue STLE's celebration of Women in Tribology. STLE executive director, Rebecca Lintow interviews members Mandi McElwain and Fran Lockwood who discuss their career paths and experiences, as well as opportunities to bring more women into the field of tribology and lubrication. For more information on Women in Tribology, download a copy of STLE's new digital publication: STLE Women in Tribology and Lubrication: Perspectives From Leaders in the Field.

Episode 12 | Rheology Testing

Contributors: Dr. Peter Lee, FSTLE, Institute Engineer and Chief Tribologist, Southwest Research Institute, Kartik Pondicherry, Principal Scientist and Product Manager, Anton Paar GmbH, Carlos Sanchez, Senior Research Engineer, Southwest Research Institute

Release date: February 14, 2024 | 37 min


In Episode 10 of this podcast series, we explored tribology testing and how it can be used to improve sustainability.  In this Episode, we explore the use of rheology testing for the same purpose. Rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of solids and liquids. Rheology has applications in materials science, human biology, pharmaceutics, engineering, food science and geophysics, to name just a few. The use of rheology has a huge potential for improved sustainability and in this Episode, we will talk about a few of these areas.

Episode 11 | The Tribology of Eating Chocolate

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Dr. Siavash Soltanahmadi, Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK 

Release date: November 16, 2023 | 22 min


The role of tribology in facilitating the move to sustainability does not just involve reducing friction and wear in industrial machinery and automobiles, but also is critical in gaining a better understanding of what we eat and what steps can be taken to improve the availability of healthier foods. This episode focuses on the topic of chocolate and research that is ongoing to better understand how this food is eaten and how tribology is used to better understand this process. A discussion is held with Dr. Siavash Soltanahmadi, Research Fellow at the University of Leeds (UK), who describes ongoing research trying to better understand the process of eating dark chocolate. When eating a piece of chocolate, an enjoyable sensation is felt due to the creamy feel of this food which provides a textural sensation. In discussing the eating of chocolate, a phase transfer takes place as the solid chocolate transitions into a molten fat phase followed by introduction of saliva, leading to the formation of an emulsion as digestion is initiated. Through a series of studies using a tongue-like surface, oral tribology is used to better understand the eating process. From this work, a multiscale tribology-informed smart design of chocolate is proposed that uses a gradient technology to retain the pleasurable eating sensation, but reduces the fat content of chocolate, leading to a healthier food.

Episode 10 | Tribology Testing

Contributors: Dr. Peter Lee, FSTLE, Institute Engineer and Chief Tribologist, Southwest Research Institute, George Plint, Director, Phoenix Tribology Ltd., and Dr. Dirk Drees, CEO, Falex Tribology Belgium

Release date: April 12, 2023 | 32 min

Tribology, the scientific study of lubrication, friction and wear, is as old as the world itself and can be found in almost every application. The word itself was not entered into the English dictionary until 1966 at the time of The Jost Report. The use of tribology to solve friction and wear problems through the life cycle of a product from manufacture, use and recycling can be used to improve sustainability. This podcast looks at how tribology testing can be used to improve sustainability, and benchtop rigs can be used to scale down full-size application and achieve usable realistic results that can then be scaled back up for real-life applications.


Episode 9 | Hydrogen as a Fuel for an Internal Combustion Engine

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Mike Copeland, Owner and CEO, Arrington Performance

Release date: October 5, 2022 | 26 min

The search for finding a way to commercialize vehicles that generate no emissions has led the automotive industry to work with batteries and fuel cells. But another approach is to take the basic internal combustion engine (ICE) and substitute hydrogen as a fuel for both gasoline and diesel fuel. This podcast examines the potential for hydrogen internal combustion engines. In this engine, hydrogen reacts with oxygen in the air as part of a combustion process, but the only byproduct is water. The initial results are quite favorable. Without the use of hydrocarbon fuels, the ICE runs much cleaner and the motor oil used is not impacted. The motor oil looks as pristine as when it was initially put in the engine. There is the potential for the motor oil to last at least 50,000 miles. The conclusion from this podcast is that hydrogen not only has the potential to be a short-term answer to reduce automotive emissions but could also be a long-term solution.

Episode 8 | Nuclear Power – A Clean Energy Option

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Robin Manley, Vice President, New Nuclear Power Development, Ontario Power Generation

Release date: July 26, 2022 | 37 min

Nuclear power is emerging as a viable energy generation option that does not release greenhouse gases in contrast to fossil fuel energy sources. While the nuclear power industry has come under scrutiny due to past issues with specific plants, overall, the industry practices excellent safety protocols and nuclear power plants operate in a very safe manner. Currently, nuclear power contributes about 10 percent of global electricity production behind coal, gas, and hydro, according to a 2019 study by the International Energy Agency (IEA). There is interest in bringing on additional nuclear power capacity to assist with reducing greenhouse gas emissions attributed to power generation. This episode includes a discussion with a representative from the nuclear power industry to get an update on whether adding more nuclear power plants is under consideration as an energy generating option. This podcast focuses on the growing interest in using small modular reactors (SMRs), which are downsized versions of existing nuclear power plants that can be designed for operation in specific locations that may be remote or have a specific power requirement that cannot be handled by existing power generation options. Prefabrication of the components used in SMRs is discussed, as this is an advantage in reducing the cost of manufacturing nuclear reactors. Components can be shipped to the location where the SMR will be placed and installed at that point in a similar manner to using Lego bricks. Episode Transcript

Episode 7 | Green Chemistry 

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Dr. David Constable, Science Director, The American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute®

Release date: June 10, 2022 | 24 min


As the move towards sustainability continues, attention needs to be paid to sourcing raw materials that can be designated as sustainable. Since all raw materials used in formulating lubricants are chemical substances, this leads to a discussion about green chemistry and how it can be used as a way to produce sustainable lubricants. This episode features a conversation with Dr. David Constable, Science Director for the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute® to gain a better perspective on this topic. Among the subjects explored with Dr. Constable includes the relationship between green chemistry and sustainability, life cycle analysis, a review of the Sustainability Development Goals, in general, and the specific goal focused on “affordable and clean energy and the future of green chemistry/sustainability.” Episode Transcript

Episode 6 | Sustainable Use of Plastic Waste in the Production of Fuels and Lubricants

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Dr. Dionisios (Dion) G. Vlachos, Unidel Dan Rich Chair in Energy Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Delaware, Dr. Massimiliano (Max) Delferro, Chemist, Group Leader, Dr. Ryan Hackler, Postdoctoral Researcher, Dr. Robert Kennedy, Postdoctoral Researcher, Chemical Sciences & Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory

Release date: April 13, 2022 | 46 min


Global plastic waste generation has doubled over the past 20 years with two-thirds of the waste having been produced over the past 5 years. Microplastics, smaller than 5 millimeters (0.2 inch), is a growing concern in our air and water. Plastics now account for 3.4% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling has been ongoing for some time but only 9% of all plastics used globally are recycled. This episode explores the potential for converting waste plastic into fuels and lubricants in a process known as upcycling. Representatives from two different groups working on this challenge provide an update on what they are doing to upcycle waste plastic and share insights on how soon commercial applications will be available to help reduce plastic waste and enable plastics to contribute sustainably to our growing global circular economy. Episode Transcript

Episode 5 | Improving the Sustainability for the Internal Combustion Engine

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Lake Speed, Jr., Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Total Seal Piston Rings

Release date: January 26, 2022 | 37 min

The automotive industry is moving away from automobiles powered by internal combustion engines to battery electric vehicles to reduce emissions and improve sustainability. But internal combustion engine-powered vehicles will not be going away any time soon. Steps being taken currently to improve the sustainability of the internal combustion engine will be discussed in this podcast. A focus point of the discussion will be the race car industry which is innovating to a high degree. The hope is that these innovations will become available soon in consumer-driven vehicles. Episode Transcript

Episode 4 | The Role of Nanotribology in the Quest for Sustainability

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Dr. Steven Thrush, Tribologist, U.S. Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center, and Dr. Marina Ruths, Professor of Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Release date: December 1, 2021 | 40 min


Nanotribology is a growing field within tribology that studies the interactions of materials at the nanoscale which is an extremely small domain. In an effort to reduce friction and wear, improve efficiency and reduce emissions, a better understanding of how friction and wear can be minimized at the nanoscale is very important. This podcast discusses nanotribology with two experts in the field. Episode Transcript

Episode 3 | How 3D Printing Moves Us Towards Sustainability

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Dr. Anthony Rollett, U.S. Steel Professor of Metallurgical Engineering & Materials Science and Faculty Co-Director, Next Manufacturing Center on Additive Manufacturing, Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Wojtek Misiolek, Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Director of The Loewy Institute, Lehigh University 

Release date: October 27, 2021 | 38 min


3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is growing in the manufacturing sector because it provides an approach for making complex parts without generating waste. This technique is working well for plastic resins, but 3D printing metal alloys has been more challenging. In this episode, we speak with two experts conducting research on the 3D printing of metal alloys to gain their perspective on how the technology is progressing, as we continue on the path to sustainability. Episode Transcript

Episode 2 | Potential Benefits of Tribochemistry

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor, Technical Programs and Services, Dr. Kuldeep Mistry, Product Development Specialist, The Timken Company, and Dr. Nicolas Argibay, Staff Scientist in the Materials Sciences Center at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories 

Release date: September 15, 2021 | 40 min


One approach for perfecting motion through the reduction of friction and wear is to examine the potential benefits of tribochemistry. This growing field gives researchers the opportunity to design a machinery system that takes advantage of the interaction of a specific lubricant with a particular metal surface under its operating conditions. The resulting products of the interaction act to maximize the efficiency of the machinery, leading us further down the road to perfecting motion. Discussions are held with two leading researchers, Drs. Kuldeep Mistry (The Timken Company) and Nicolas Argibay (Sandia National Laboratories), to provide their viewpoints on the current and future potential for tribochemistry. Episode Transcript

Episode 1 | Introduction – Perfecting Motion®: Tribology and the Quest for Sustainability

Contributors: Dr. Neil Canter, STLE Advisor – Technical Programs and Services

Release date: July 27, 2021 | 22 min


As the world faces challenges due to the threat of global warming, regulatory pressure has been applied to find ways to reduce the generation of carbon dioxide and other emissions. The transportation sector is under increasing scrutiny because it contributes the highest level of emissions in the U.S. at 28.2%, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

The automotive industry has responded by moving to electric vehicles in place of internal combustion-powered vehicles as a way to reduce carbon dioxide, attain carbon neutrality and move towards sustainability. Tribology, or the study of lubrication, provides approaches for reducing emissions, improving efficiency and, as a result, accelerating the move to perfecting motion®, which will lead to achieving sustainability.

This podcast introduces a new series that will discuss a series of technology developments showing how tribology and lubrication can promote the movement towards sustainability. Episode Transcript