Happy New Year!

Michael Anderson | TLT President's Report January 2018

These seven resolutions will help STLE serve its members better and increase our status as a major international organization.

In 2018 STLE resolves to participate in more events outside of North America and create several international local sections.

AFTER WE SING AULD LANG SYNE, run under the mistletoe (or avoid it) and make our first toast to the New Year, we realize another 12 months have gone by. But, more important, another year is starting. This is the time of the year when we reflect on the past and look to the future with great anticipation. And there are always the resolutions we make. Ah, yes, the resolutions. We all make them, some consciously, some unconsciously, but we make them. We also know that most of our resolutions won’t make it through the first week of the new year, but we remain optimistic because deep down we want to improve ourselves and make this year better than last, even if the past year was good.

But this article focuses on tribology and the industry that relies on it and on STLE. As I look ahead to 2018, there are exciting things happening in our industry, many directly related to the activities of STLE, its Executive Committee, board of directors, staff and, of course, the members. So aside from my personal resolutions, here are a list of resolutions that pertain to 2018 STLE activities.

Resolution 1: STLE presents two world-class meetings: the 73rd Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minn., in May, followed by the Tribology Frontiers Conference (TFC) in Chicago in October. The resolution is to make both conferences outstanding and to ensure that Minneapolis is STLE’s most well-attended annual meeting to date providing attendees with the industry’s finest technical education. New education programs are added every year.

Resolution 2: Expand global awareness of STLE by accepting invitations and participating in events held outside of North America. This enables STLE to work with local organizations to promote the society. In fact, STLE is in the process of establishing several international local sections. 

Resolution 3: Scholarships, financial assistance and STEM are ways STLE helps bring young talent into our industry. While STLE gave out more than $50,000 in monetary awards in 2017, there were still more worthy candidates than funds available. STLE’s recently updated Global Trends Report identifies the lack of new talent coming into our industry as a major concern. Therefore, in 2018 STLE will look into ways to increase scholarship funding to bring more new talent into our industry. 

Resolution 4: Students make up about 8% of total membership and are the future of STLE and our industry. Student activities at the annual meeting have proved to be a great way for students to meet and interact with their peers. This resolution calls for STLE to provide a section on our Website to address issues important to student members and how they can better network with industrial members.

Resolution 5: STLE has more than 250 Corporate Members and 3,400 individual members. Our goal with this resolution is to grow membership by 10% this year.

Resolution 6: Technology is another growth area for STLE. Prior to this year’s annual meeting, STLE plans to introduce a mobile app that will connect members to STLE at all times with full access to their benefits. The new app includes schedules and programs for the Annual Meeting and the TFC and will include technical reference materials, local section meeting schedules, a membership directory and more.

Resolution 7: The world is changing in profound ways. For more than 100 years our transportation industry has run primarily on fuel derived from petroleum. But we know this is rapidly changing—just look at the increased number of electric vehicles, which reduces the need for petroleum-related materials. Are we taking steps to be ready? So, the final resolution is an actual congressional resolution. We want to reintroduce the House bill resolution to make congress aware of the importance of tribology in the world and, even more critical, the importance of increasing funding for tribology research.

In 2018 STLE will use these resolutions to help the tribology world to connect, learn and achieve. The world needs to know: Tribology—it’s everywhere!

Mike Anderson is Area Manager Asia Pacific/Latin America for Falex Corp. in Sugar Grove, Ill. You can reach him at manderson@falex.com.