Your association has super powers!

Edward P. Salek, CAE, Executive Director | TLT Headquarters Report May 2018

Connections and community make STLE a global force in the tribology and lubricants industry.

Associations have the power to unify the members of an industry or profession.
© Can Stock Photo / lucidwaters

This has been the year of the billion-dollar super hero. The world is infatuated with characters that have enormous strength, X-ray vision, telepathic powers and maybe even the ability to shape shift. One movie in this genre (Black Panther) has recorded more than $1.2 billion in gross receipts over a relatively short period of time, according to Forbes magazine.

But there’s also a super power of a different sort that’s shared by most technical associations, including STLE. Associations have the power of connections and community—the ability to unify the members of an industry or profession. While it is not as intriguing as psychokinesis or teleportation, the impact can be powerful enough to make Thor, Superman or even Wonder Woman envious.

This power of association is on display May 20-24 in Minneapolis, Minn. (U.S.), when 1,500 technical professionals will connect at STLE’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Exhibition. They will experience the lubricant industry’s most respected venue for technical information, professional development and international networking opportunities. 

The 2018 Annual Meeting features 500 technical presentations, 12 lubrication-specific education courses and a trade show with 150 exhibit booths showcasing the lubricant industry’s latest products, services and technologies. The attendees, coming from more than 30 countries, are a mix of technical professionals representing industry, academia and government. 

Check all the details about the 2018 Annual Meeting on the new STLE 365 app, available free for Apple (iOS), Android and HTML5 formats. To download, simply search for STLE 365 at the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, or use the auto-detect link at

STLE’s super powers also will emerge later this year when tribology researchers from more than 25 countries in North and South America, Asia and Europe attend the 4th STLE Tribology Frontiers Conference (TFC). This meeting is Oct. 28-31 at Chicago’s historic Drake Hotel and is co-sponsored by the Tribology Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

In a short period of time, the TFC has gained a reputation for being a high-impact conference aimed at discovering the role tribology plays in solving critical technical, environmental and societal problems. This year’s event enhances that reputation with multiple invited speakers on areas at the forefront of tribology science, plus the popular half-day symposium on Beyond the Cutting Edge: Highlights from Tribology Letters. Technical sessions are comprised of four consecutive days of submitted presentations from tribology researchers and institutions from around the world.

These international tribology events unite industry, academic and government researchers and highlight the role that tribology research plays in solving future scientific and societal challenges. They demonstrate the fact, cited in a recent research report by a leading scientific publisher, that, “science, scholarship and innovation have no borders, and society members reflect this spirt of global collaboration.”

STLE’s power to attract an international audience supports the organization’s mission and vision and enables STLE to implement strategic goals related to technical expertise, scientific advancement and professional advocacy. This is the super power of associations in action.
You can reach Certified Association Executive Ed Salek at