Thursday, August 30, 2012

September Webinars: Registration Now Open for Re-Refining, PAGs & CM Data Interpretation Series

This month is jam-packed with webinars, with nearly one a week! Registration is now open for all events, so feel free to login to (if you don't know your ID, please give us a call at (847) 825-5536) and choose which event(s) you'd like to register for. Once you're logged in, click "Shop STLE" on the right hand side of your profile and scroll down to see all available events.

Scott Miller

Date/Time: Wednesday, September 12, 2012. Begins 12:00pm CDT. 1 hour presentation. Additional Q&A time from 1-1:30pm CDT.
Instructors: Rodney Walker, Technical Director of Oil Re-Refining, Safety-Kleen and Scott Miller, Director of East Chicago Refining and Blending, Safety-Kleen
Overview: This webinar will follow the closed loop re-refining process from used oil collection and re-refining processes, including used oil acceptance criteria, dehydration, distillation, and hydrotreating to base oil typical properties and finally finished (blended) products.
Cost: $39/59 for members/non-members
Registration: Click here (must login to see correct pricing); deadline 9/10
This webinar is part of our Essentials Series - look for more in 2013!

Martin Greaves
Polyalkylene Glycols: Present and Future Applications Date/Time: Wednesday, September 19, 2012. Begins 12:00pm CDT. 1 hour presentation. Additional Q&A time from 1-1:30pm CDT.
Instructor: Martin Greaves, Research Leader in Research and Development, The Dow Chemical Company
Overview: This webinar will discuss polyalkylene glycol (PAG) technology including their chemistry, manufacture, key performance properties and challenges. It will also focus on the wide range of applications where PAGs are used today. Furthermore the presentation will highlight how innovation is leading to new PAG technologies such as the recent introduction of Oil Soluble PAGs – a new type of Group V base oil and performance enhancing additive. The presentation will discuss how PAGs are finding use in new applications to solve some of today’s modern day tribology challenges.
Cost: $39/59 for members/non-members
Registration: Click here (must login to see correct pricing); deadline 9/17

Evan Zabawski

Spectrographic Data Interpretation Part II: Additive Metals (part of the Condition Monitoring Data Interpretation Series)
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 26, 2012. Begins 12:00pm CDT. 1 hour presentation. Additional Q&A time from 1-1:30pm CDT.
Instructor: Evan Zabawski, Vice President of Technical Services, CAN-AK
Overview: The third module of this series will continue along the lines of the previous module (focusing on Contaminants & Wear), but rather focusing on changes found in the additive elements measured by spectrometry.
Cost: $39/59 for members/non-members (or as part of the series with a 10% discount for all 6 events; series cost: $210 members/$330 non-members)
Registration: Click here (must login to see correct pricing); deadline 9/24

FREE Membership Webinar - Info Session on STLE's Certification Programs
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 3, 2012. Begins 12:00pm CDT. 30 minute presentation.
Presenter: Alicia Shearer, Certification Programs Administrator
Overview: Join us for this free information session on the STLE certifications, including the Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS), Certified Metalworking Fluid Specialist (CMFS), and the Oil Monitoring Analyst I/II designations. Attend to see what it takes to sit for an exam, how you can start to prepare, what the exams are like, how you get the results, and what you can do to maintain your certification after you obtain it.
Cost: FREE to both members and non-members
Registration: Click here to register

Don't see any topics relevant to your position? Comment below on topics you'd like us to offer. We're currently planning the 2013 Schedule!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

#IJTC2012: Student & Young Professional Networking Event to be held at the Wynkoop Brewing Company

This year, we'll be hosting the first Student & Young Professional Networking Event at the IJTC and we invite you to join us! This event is designed for those who are just starting out in the field (less than 5 years in industry) or for those who are finishing up work on their degree. This event is designed with you in mind - giving you an opportunity to meet and mingle with your peers before the conference starts and allow you to meet some key STLE members. Plus, you get to have a little fun along the way!

The event will take place at a local" brew pub" (brewing company and pub), which is a short 10 minute walk from the Westin. We wanted to give you a true taste of Denver, and since there are more than 100 breweries and brewpubs in Colorado, we figured this would be the right place.

Date/Time: Sunday, October 7, 7-10 p.m.
Location: Wynkoop Brewing Company (follow @Wynkoop, or Like them on FB) - we'll meet in the hotel lobby and walk over together (or you can get there on your own and meet us at 1634 18th Street).
Includes: appetizers, dessert and a drink (more details TBA)
Cost: FREE!  (must RSVP)

Watch the video below to get a preview of the location and the tour we'll get with one of their Brewmasters! In addition to the brewery tour, we'll have trivia and pool tables you can use at your leisure.

Trivia question: Based on the number of breweries per capita in the U.S., where does Colorado rank? (Answer: 2nd). If you're not a Colorado/Denver buff, no worries. We'll have a mix of questions - tribology-related, pop culture, location-based and'll just have to attend to see what we come up with!

We hope to see you there!

If you are interested in joining us for this event, you must RSVP by September 14 to Kara Sniegowski. If you have any questions, you can email or give us a call. Note: you can follow event details via the hashtag #IJTC2012, or by following STLE.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

5 Minutes with... Brendan Hanrahan, PhD Candidate, Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland

Brendan Hanrahan
Brendan is currently working in the Energy and Power Division at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory while finishing his Ph.D. degree at the University of Maryland in Materials Science and Engineering. His research is focused on novel materials and fabrication methods for small-scale, portable power systems. The tribology of micro-scale ball bearing systems, designed to support micro-turbines, -pumps, and -generators, is the main focus of his research. Upon graduation in December, Brendan plans on seeking out an engineering position in industry.

Sniegowski: What got you interested in tribology?
Hanrahan: I started as a graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland in 2006. I joined the MEMS Sensors and Actuators Laboratory that Fall and my first project was to create a retainer ring (a restraining system for the balls that goes inside the device) for micro-scale ball bearing devices. The senior students in the group were developing micro-turbines, micro-pumps, and micro-motors at the time. While all of these devices were functional, they were all also limited by the micro-scale ball bearings, which were not really well understood. We got together and determined that one of us would need to focus on understanding the tribology of the microball bearings to improve the platform for all future devices. Being a Materials Scientist in a group of device engineers, the fundamental study fell into my lap. From that point, I designed experiments help us better understand the sources of friction, the different wear regimes, and the applicability of lubrication for micro-scale ball bearings.

Sniegowski: What are you currently working on?
Hanrahan: My current research at the U.S. Army Research Lab is focused on micro-scale ball bearing systems, designed to support power and energy applications, including small generators, fuel pumps, sensor platforms, and an array of other applications. The biggest part of this research has been focused pinpointing the sources of rolling friction when you utilize micro-scale geometries, silicon materials systems, and microfabrication technologies. My Ph.D. hypothesis is centered around the influence of adhesion on rolling friction. To address adhesion I have designed experiments that independently address various aspects of adhesion, such as real contact area and adhesive energy. These results, plus continued studies on wear regimes and new microfabrication geometries, will provide a reference point for the engineering of future microfabricated ball bearing systems.

Sniegowski: What recommendations would you give to other students in the field?
Hanrahan: First, teach your parents, colleagues, and teachers what “tribology” means! Second, you may find yourself at the business end of a number of lubrication (lube), friction, or ball-related jokes. Don’t be fazed! Just ask them if they appreciate the fact their car stops, windmills turn, or their engines last a long time. Third, I would guess that with few exceptions, most undergraduates haven’t been introduced to tribology as field of study, so most graduate students don’t seek out tribology, but rather tribology finds them. This comes in the form of a part wearing out, a slow motor, or some other issue that needs solving. My advice to them is to dive-deep into some of the older, seminal works of tribology. You will find that every problem in tribology is specific to the geometry, materials, and operating parameters of your system. It’s best to go back and learn the general formulas, test methods, and models which are universally true before looking into something more specific.

Some of the papers Brendan recommends:
  • "Surface Energy and Contact of Elastic Solids" - Johnson, Kendall, Roberts, 1971
  • "The Mechanism of Rolling Friction 1: The Plastic Range" - Eldredge and Tabor, 1955
  • "The Mechanism of Rolling Friction 2: The Elastic Range" - Tabor, 1955
  • "Elastic Deformation and the Laws of Friction" - Archard, 1957
If you'd like to be interviewed for our 5 Minutes highlight, just send me (Kara) an email at

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

#IJTC2012: 1 month until the Early Bird Deadline

Are you joining us in Denver, Colorado (USA) for the 2012 International Joint Tribology Conference (October 8-10)?

You should!

And if you are, we'll have some handy posts as we get closer to the conference including event notices and deadlines, more information about the Student and Young Professionals Networking Event (to be held Sunday, October 7), our Survival Guide to Industrial Conferences, and posts that include resources to plan your trip, including places to see, places to eat and places to visit.

You can follow any and all event news and information on Twitter via the hashtag #IJTC2012. You can also start planning out your conference plan-of-attack via the technical program that is now posted on ASME's website. Be sure to register AND book your hotel. You probably want both.

Are you signed up already? Leave a comment on what you are looking forward to the most - whether it's networking, a specific technical track, or something else, let us know!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Planning Your Trip to Denver for #IJTC2012

A conference typically involves a lot of planning, both on the part of the organizers and the attendees. Below are some tips you can use to start getting ready for #IJTC2012.

  • What to pack in your suitcase: try this list to make sure you remember everything!
  • Scoping out the weather: typically, in October, the average high is in the mid-60s, and the average low is in the mid-30s, so it will be a little chilly. Bear in mind that the first snowfall happens sometime in October. Plus, you have to remember you're in a hotel - you should always have a sweater/cardigan on hand, or dress in layers.
  • Traveling: This travel guide via WikiTravel lists a great number of options, and this post via Visit Denver are a great help for getting around once you've arrived. If you're flying, you'll be flying into DEN (Denver, Colorado). This airport has lots of options on flight times and destinations. If you're driving, be sure to map out your trip with directions right to the Westin Downtown (1672 Lawrence St., Denver, CO 80202). You can also look up driving directions from Visit Denver.
  • What to wear: generally, we want you to feel comfortable while attending. You may feel more comfortable wearing business casual or business professional attire when you are presenting or for meetings with other attendees, but the typical dress code is casual or business casual.
  • Creating your conference plan-of-attack: check out the Preliminary Program Guide and find sessions of interest. Then, create a spreadsheet or itinerary that maps out where you'll be each day and when (include the room numbers, floor and all other details you may need). It helps you get a handle on all the events that happen at the conference.
  • Connecting with other attendees: check the attendee list once it's posted, and reach out to all those you think might be interested in similar topics. Also, consider becoming a featured member, and take a look at those already posted and compare to the attendee list, so you can get to know them before you meet.
  • What to pack in your bag for sessions (i.e. your conference kit): business cards; your phone (on silent, of course), gum, granola bars, water bottle, laptop/iPad and charger, writing pad/folio and pen/pencil.
  • Updates: be sure to follow the conference hashtag on Twitter #IJTC2012 for any news, room changes, meeting notices, and more. It's a great way to get accurate, updated information quickly! Plus, you can use it as a way of taking notes while you're on site and share great sessions with others, so they can pop in to the presentation or discuss after it's concluded.
  • First time attending a conference? Check out our list of tips.   
What are your tips for getting ready for a conference? What are you looking forward to at this year's IJTC?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

2 Months left in our MGAM Campaign

There are just two months left in our Member Get A Member campaign, and with folks going on vacation, you might want to start sooner rather than later! The campaign concludes on October 1. Be sure to check out the rest of the campaign details, including rules, prizes and incentives.

We've had 14 new members officially sign up as part of the campaign, which is great! Welcome to all of you who are new, and those who have sponsored these new members, great work so far! Keep it up.

We have noted that some new members have omitted sponsor names. If you are a new member and joined in the last two months, you may want to check and make sure you put your sponsors' name down on your application. If you didn't, just let us know and we'll add you. Sponsors - if you want to make sure your name is on their application, print off copies, fill in your name and hand them out. Or, send them a quick email reminder, including details on where to put your name on the application.

If you're still not sure whether you should join, take a look at what other members have to say about their membership and involvement with STLE:

  • “My membership assures constant access to an exceptional flow of vital technical information which reassures my colleagues, clients and customers, that I am right on the ball!”
  • “Face-to-face membership gatherings offer me unmatched opportunities to conduct business with and learn from my colleagues, which has an immediate and demonstrable effect on my company’s bottom line.”
  • "The STLE Annual Meeting offers both the best information on tribological related research and the best technical approaches to improve equipment reliability. Technical sessions and the exhibition provide a proper balance of basic understanding and practical applications. Education courses offer an additional edge of required knowledge.”
  • “I became involved with the lubrication program at three companies. Having a quality technical resource available was vital. The quality and depth of the information prompted me to join, study and eventually
  • pass the CLS.”
  • “STLE provides an avenue for camaraderie, learning, and mentoring along with providing current market and technical industry trends.”
  • “I liked the easy access to journals and magazines. I was entry-level, on my way to a manager position.
  • Our company had at least one person on staff that was a member for the last decade. I joined to gain access to information, good prices on books, journals and conferences.”
  • “I joined because I was new to the position and field. I asked around the industry about education. STLE was continually recommended.”
If you're a member, submit your own testimonial in the comments below. Encourage others to join STLE and grow your community!