Showing posts with label STLE Annual Meeting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label STLE Annual Meeting. Show all posts

Monday, April 7, 2014

Plan Your Trip to #STLE2014

Based on some personal recommendations from a frequent Disney visitor, TLT's Editor, Evan Zabawski sheds some light on things to try while at Disney.

Places to Eat
  1. California Grill at Contemporary Resort (15th floor of Tower building): offers some unique fine-dining choices, particularly for those who enjoy seafood or sushi.
  2. Chef Mickey's at Contemporary Resort: buffet style dining, a chance to meet some characters during breakfast, for the young at heart or those with kids.
  3. Grand Floridian Cafe at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: American cuisine with for those looking for a casual dining experience.
  4. Citricos at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: a Mediterranean inspired fine-dining restaurant.
  5. 1900 Park Fare at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: buffet style dining, a chance to meet characters during breakfast, afternoon tea or supper.
  6. Ghiradelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop in Downtown Disney: a great place for treats, especially if you're sharing with others.

Things to Do (non-theme park)
  1. Downtown Disney Area: lots of shopping all day, with many opportunities to experience live music in the evening.
  2. Electrical Water Pageant: nighttime parade on the lagoon visible from both conference hotels, reminiscent of the Main Street Electrical Parade.
  3. Wishes Nighttime Spectacular: fireworks show like no other, best viewed from inside the Magic Kingdom, but visible from Contemporary Resort.
What are your plans? Do you have any suggestions for places to eat, or things to do while at the Annual Meeting? Share them in the comments below. 

Final Notes

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Things to Do in The "D" (Detroit)

Getting some perspectives from STLE staff and members, here are some suggested attractions and restaurants, if you're planning your trip to join us next week. And don't forget that Detroit has an easy way to get around the city - the PeopleMover. The weather should be in the mid-high 60s all week, so be sure to pack for that, and remember to wear layers while you're attending the conference - conference centers and big hotels have a tendency to run cold.

Don Smolenski: Don loves the water, and as such, recommends you check out the Detroit Riverfront, along Lake St. Clair. He also recommends the following restaurants: Sinbad's Restaurant, Fishbone's Rhythm Kitchen, Mike's on the Water, Rojo Mexican Bistro, Brownie's on the Lake and The Rattlesnake Club. The river walk is also quite nice for running or biking. There are a few shops, and this area has the largest concentration of boats in fresh water. It's a great place to take a break - get away, go for a walk and while you're there, take in the water, the boats, and the beautiful mansions along the lake shore. "Lake Clair is one of the reasons I love living in Detroit. It's not as intimidating as Lake Erie or Michigan, but you can still see water for miles."

Charlie Paxton: The Henry Ford Museum is a little far from the meeting location, but it's always good. And, if you make the trip, you can also visit the largest IMAX theater in the state of Michigan. Charlie, as part of the Detroit Section, helped set up a tour of the GM Plant that produced the Volt (the tour filled up within a short couple of days!). Thanks to the Detroit Section, those attending get free transportation.

Rachel Colbert: says that there are some great lakes and parks in Detroit (Ash Park is closest to the hotel), and she also recommends Greektown and the Ford Museum.

Tracy VanEe: This Detroit-native STLE staff member recommends The Fox Theater (historic and very ornate), which is next to Hockeytown - lots of Red Wings nostalgia to be found here.

Attractions: Motown Museum, Heidelberg Project, The Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit Zoo, Comerica Park for a Tigers game, and Cobo Hall or the Joe Louis Arena (if you check the concert schedule, you might catch one of Detroit's locals - Bob Seger, Kid Rock or Eminem).

Restaurant favorites: Elwood Bar & Grill and the Detroit Beer Co.are around Comerica Park. For upscale dining, try the Rattlesnake Club. For less-than-upscale, try The Coney Island Challenge - Lafayette and American Coney Islands -they're located next to each other and make a show over luring customers into one diner over the other. Old Shillelagh's is a fun Irish pub - they have live music and it's always fun and festive. In addition to Greektown, there is Mexican Town, with a string of Mexican restaurants. My favorite is Xochimilco's (pronounced Soshimoko's), which has great fare.

If you're bringing family, or are just interested in a charming town, try Birmingham (about 5 miles away from Detroit) - it has lots of nice shops and dining.

If you want to go outside of Detroit, visit Dearborn for the Henry Ford Museum, Automotive Hall of Fame, and the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant to see where they make the F150. In addition, try Greenfield Village (historical town, mini-Williamsburg).

Or, try the two Big 10 University towns - East Lansing and Ann Arbor. They're within an hour's drive of Detroit and are great places to visit.
Don't forget to take a look at the Visit Detroit website (look at the Downtown Detroit area), and local attractions on the Marriott's website.

What will you be visiting or doing while in Detroit? Respond in the comments below, send me an email to be included in this post (to, or your tweet activities (using hashtag #STLE2013)!

And Visit Detroit has some great videos, including this one, on Downtown Detroit.

Friday, March 29, 2013

2013 Annual Meeting - Early Bird Pricing Expires Monday!

Don't forget to save a bit of money by registering early - by April 1.
Take a look at the Preliminary Program Guide and start making your plans so you can be part of this can't-miss conference!

[Click here] to view the conference brochure (left), or [click here] for the PDF download
[Click here] to register online
[Click here] to download a PDF registration form (fax or scan/email back in)
[Click here] for the Corporate Member registration form - you get two free registrations and two free education courses with the Basic tier, and three registrations and three courses with the Premium!

Still not sure if you should attend this year?
1. We have recorded some of the sessions that were chosen by attendees at last year's Annual Meeting - they chose these presentations as Highlights they'd like to review and share after the conference. [Click here] to listen to some of the sessions chosen as Highlights from last year's meeting

2. Read The Business Case For Attending STLE's Annual Meeting - either to present to your supervisor, or to assuage any of your own doubts. And read our President's Message on the meeting, Tradition and Innovation.

3. Check out some Detroit blogs (including Visit Detroit, Detroit Moxie, Detroit UnSpun, Dig Downtown, and Eat It Detroit), to get a feel for the destination. Also be sure to read our tips for first time attendees, and get some perspective from past attendees.

4. Hear it direct from other members and non-members who've attended - see our testimonials below! Or read more here.
  • “I can always count on the Annual STLE Meeting and Exhibitions to have all our customers under one roof and great networking. It is a great way to keep in touch with the pulse of the industry.” – David Oesterle, The Lubrizol Corporation
  • Evan Zabawski
  • “The STLE Annual Meeting is the best venue for sales, marketing, and technical people to meet and discuss products that are instrumental in moving our industry forward.” –Samuel Wolfe, Wolfe Chemicals
  • “The STLE Annual Meeting offers both the best information on tribological related research and the best technical approaches to improve equipment reliability. Technical session and exhibition provides a proper balance of basic understanding and practical applications. Technical courses offer additional edge of required knowledge.” – George Staniewski, Ontario Power Generation
  • “A great event to both meet colleagues involved in all facets of lubrication, and partake of the excellent technical content.” – Evan Zabawski
  • Don Smolenski
  • “This was my first time attending. I took 3 courses and all were excellent and presenters were extremely knowledgeable. Overall, a great group of people. They were friendly and willing to share expertise and discuss technology.” – Gary Bilski, Honeywell Consumer Products Group
  • “Outstanding opportunity to meet and discuss with experts within the biggest and most active association of tribologists worldwide.” – Steffen Bots, Oelcheck
  • “The STLE Annual Meeting provides excellent technical content, training, exhibits and networking, all in one place.” – David Turner, Shell Global Solutions
  • “Presentation technical quality was very good. Networking was excellent. The meeting is great for collaboration.” – Don Smolenski, General Motors (now Evonik)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Resources & Navigating the Annual Meeting for Students & Early Careerists

Read on below for information on upcoming events, deadlines and news for both students and early careerists. Each item will be marked with an S (for student), EC (for early careerist), or both.

Tweet the Meeting (S, EC)
If you’d like to be more involved during the conference and share information with fellow attendees, we’re encouraging attendees to use Twitter to tweet noteworthy sessions, questions, resources, and information on talks you’re presenting.

We have started to compile a list of attendees and if you’d like to be included, just tweet using the #STLE2013 hashtag, or email us your Twitter handle. And stop by the Membership Booth to see our live Twitter wall, where we’ll display #STLE2013 tweets. Don’t forget to follow @STLE_Tribology for news, information and resources direct from STLE!
2013 Annual Meeting Networking Event (S, EC)

Click here for more photos from 2012

This year’s Early Careerist Networking Event will be held at Drive – the ping pong social club, on Sunday, May 5, from 7-10 pm. Drive is a quick walk or PeopleMover ride from the Renaissance Center. Admission is FREE for all you students and early careerists and includes a chance to show off your ping pong skills, a drink ticket and sweets, and a great opportunity to network with some of STLE’s well-known members! RSVP to ensure space by April 19. Send your RSVP to Kara Sniegowski at, or call us at (847) 825-5536.
[Click here] to visit Drive’s website
[Click here] to get information on the PeopleMover
Like us on Facebook or join our LinkedIn group to receive updates on this event

2 Days Left to Apply for Annual Meeting Housing Award (S)
The Young Tribologists Committee is sponsoring the annual Housing Award for our conference coming up in May. Applications are due March 30, so be sure to get yours in to see if you can get a free hotel stay while at the 2013 Annual Meeting!
[Click here] for details and to apply

Scholarships Available (S)

Our local sections – including Central Illinois and Philadelphia – are currently offering scholarships to students working in the field of lubrication and tribology. Deadlines are April 1 and May 1. Don’t miss your chance – apply today!
[Click here] for details and to apply

Upcoming Webinar Series (S, EC)

Starting this year, we’ll be offering a series of FREE webinars on topics relevant to students and early careerists to help you get ahead in your career. The first webinar has been scheduled, with more topics to come. See below for details and to register. Future topics will include: How to Present Your Work, Successful Grant Writing as well as job-search related topics. If you’d like to make a suggestion, contact Kara Sniegowski.
  • 4/8: Best Practices for Presenting Your Poster | REGISTER
  • 4/15: Getting Published | REGISTER
  • 4/16: Preview/Demo the New Annual Meeting App | REGISTER
To receive information on the webinar series, the networking event, scholarships and awards, you’ll have to mark your interest in your online profile. Simply log in at, click to edit your Demographic information and choose “Early Careerist” as an interest area. You’ll then start receiving information on articles, events and resources catered to you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

#STLE2013 Education Courses - Register before Early Bird to save!

The Early Bird deadline (April 1) to register for the 2013 STLE Annual Meeting & Exhibition is coming up fast. Be sure to get registered for the meeting, and while you're doing that, be sure to sign up for an education course. It never hurts to sign up for a refresher on a given topic, maintain your certification, get started in a new area that you've been assigned at work, or simply learn more. Courses will be offered on Sunday, May 5, and Wednesday, May 8, 2013. They include:

Sunday, May 5
Wednesday, May 8
[Click here] for more details, or click on the course title for more information on each.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Best of 2012: Education

Below you'll find the top resources from 2012 as determined by the attendance and interest for in-person education, online courses, webinars, books and podcasts. If you feel that one of your favorites was left off the list, feel free to mention it in the comments. There was a lot of competition for the top spots as we had a great schedule this year, and that wouldn't have been possible without all our volunteers and instructors. Thank you all for making this a great year! For a full list of our offerings and to explore on your own, visit the STLE Store or see our Events Calendar for upcoming events.

Popular Courses at the 2012 Annual Meeting
-Advanced Lubrication 301: This course will be offered again in 2013
-Basic Lubrication 103 (Overview): Basic 101 & 102 were condensed to create this course, and it was still well-attended. The classic Basic 101 & Basic 102 courses will be offered in 2013
-Automotive Lubrication 201 - Diesel: the 2013 course will focus on Gasoline engines
-Synthetics 203: Non-Petroleum Fluids & Their Uses - this course will be offered again in 2013, with Synthetics 204 being offered again in 2014.
-MWF 115: Basic Metal Removal Fluids was also well-attended this past year. And if you liked that course, you may be interested in MWF 250: Understanding & Controlling Metal Removal Fluid Failure.

[Click here] for a full list of the courses to be offered at the 2013 Annual Meeting, including course instructors, module descriptions and agendas. Registration is now open, and the early bird deadline will save you some money on your registration, so be sure to include it in your 2013 budget!

Highest Attended Webinars of 2012
The Food Grade and Condition Monitoring Data Interpretation Series were some of the highest attended, attracting 100+ attendees each! Individual events also did quite well.

-Food Grade Lubrication Series: the series covered all aspects of lubrication and related regulations. If you're interested in purchasing, you can get the series at a 10-15% discount. The series included: Grease and its Use in Food Processing, Food Grade Lubricants, and Food Grade Lubricants & Their Regulations.
-Condition Monitoring Series: This series covered a lot of ground on interpreting data and reading reports. If you're interested in purchasing, you can get the series at a 10% discount, or you can purchase each event on its own as it piques your interest. The series included: Alarm Limits, Spectrographic Data Interpretation Part I: Contaminants & Wear, Spectrographic Data Interpretation Part II: Additive Metals, Physical Properties Data Interpretation, Additional Testing (FTIR, AN, BN, and Particle Counts) and Advanced Report Reading.
-VOC Emissions from Metalworking Fluids
-Hydraulic Fluid Properties and Hydraulic Systems - A Vital Link
-Tribological Perspective on Engine Friction Reduction
-Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oils: Emission Strategies and Their Effects on Engine Oils
-Basics of Additives

If you're interested in other topics, feel free to check out our other post which features all webinars to-date, grouped by topic. You can also start planning your attendance with our 2013 schedule, with events listed through April. If you don't see something you like, make a suggestion and we'll work to include it later in the year.

Top Online Education Course of 2012
-Fundamentals of Lubrication Certificate Course: this interactive, four-module online course covers friction, lubrication and wear with handy Check Your Knowledge and quiz questions along the way to aid with material retention and understanding. At the end of each module, you'll find a quiz to reinforce the material, and when you get to the end of the course, you can take an assessment to demonstrate the knowledge you just learned, and earn a certificate which you can print and hang in your office or provide to management. This course (and all of our online courses/webinars) also applies towards your recertification efforts, giving you 2.5 hours towards the 8 required hours towards requirement #12. See your designation's recertification requirements for details.

If you liked the Fundamentals, you may also like our other online courses, which are shorter and provide the information you need, when you need it.
-Metalworking Fluids Short Course: includes modules on types and functions of metalworking fluids and the guidelines for recommending specific metal removal fluids for  an applications.
-Lubricant Composition Short Course: includes modules on base oils, additives and greases.
-Fluid Management & Recycling Short Course: includes modules on justifying the implementation of a program/cost savings and best practices for implementing a program at your site.
-Basic Lubrication Short Course: taking less time and with fewer quizzes than the Fundamentals course, this covers the same material in half the time for those who need to get the info and go.

Popular Books in 2012
-Basic Handbook of Lubrication, 3rd Edition: Perfect or Spiral Bound
-Machinery Oil Analysis

Most Accessed Podcasts in 2012
-Biobased Fuels & Biobased Lubricants with Dr. Joseph M. Perez, Penn State
-Metalworking Fluid Microbicides with Dr. Fred Passman, BCA, Inc.
-Metalworking Fluids and Chemical Additives with Dr. Neil Canter, Chemical Solutions
-Nanotribology & MEMS: There's Still Plenty of Room at the Bottom, with Dr. Michael Dugger
-What's it like to be an STLE member? Get details directly from new members who joined during the Member Get A Member Campaign - see why they joined and the benefits they've enjoyed since they joined.

Be sure to check out our Best of 2011 Education for more info on what was popular last year, and those that maintained their "cool-kid" status from year to year.
What was your favorite of the year? Why was it your favorite?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

November Webinars & Upcoming Regional Education Courses

This month for webinars, we continue our Condition Monitoring series along with three other events focusing on hydraulic fluids and bearings. Registration is now open for all events. You can also get a preview of upcoming education courses below, including our Metalworking Fluid Management Certificate Course (registration now open) and the courses that will be offered at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Detroit, MI. Scroll down for more details.

Classification and Testing of Industrial Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluids
Date/Time: Wednesday, November 7, 2012; 12-1pm CT with additional Q&A time from 1-1:30pm
Instructor: John Sherman, Technical Manager, Fuel and Lubricant Solutions, BASF Corporation
Overview: Fire is a major hazard of many industrial applications requiring the use of fire-resistant hydraulic fluids. This STLE Webinar will review the types of fire-resistant hydraulic fluids currently used for general industry, their classification and protocols for certification including specific test requirements.The properties of the types of fire-resistant fluids as well as aspects of their condition monitoring  will also be reviewed.
Fee: $39 for members; $59 for non-members
Registration Deadline: Monday, November 5
[Click here] to register for this event

Additional Testing: FTIR, AN, BN, and Particle Counts (fifth event in the Condition Monitoring Data Interpretation Series)
Date/Time: Wednesday, November 14, 2012; 12-1pm CT with additional Q&A time from 1-1:30pm
Instructor: Evan Zabawski, Editor of TLT
Overview: The fifth module of this series will wrap up the individualized parameter review by discussing interpretation of results such as particle count, optical particle classification, acid number and base number.
Fee: $39 for members; $59 for non-members for this event; $210 for members and $330 for non-members for the series.
Registration Deadline: Monday, November 12
[Click here] to register for the series
[Click here] to register for this event

Bearing Damage Analysis, Part II - Going Beyond Rolling Element Bearings
Date/Time: Thursday, November 15, 2012; 12-1pm CT with additional Q&A time from 1-1:30pm
Instructor: Dr. Paul Shiller, Professor, University of Akron
Overview: The purpose of this webinar is to help identify some of the more common types of non-rolling element bearing damage, explain possible causes, and discuss corrective actions. Damage will be discussed in four areas; mechanical, chemical, thermal, and electrical and will cover these and other topics: wear from foreign material, fatigue, overload, handling and installation damage, misalignment, corrosion and inadequate lubrication. Discussion areas on "non-rolling" elements will include plain bearings, journal bearings and sliding contact bearings.  The discussion may also include other lubricated contact applications: sliding guides, shafts, seals, and ball joints.
Fee: $39 for members; $59 for non-members
Registration Deadline: Monday, November 12
[Click here] to purchase Part I: Bearing Damage Analysis in Rolling Element Bearings
[Click here] to register for this event

FREE Webinar: Rolling Element Bearing Test Program Development & Data Analysis for OEM Engineers
Date/Time: November 30, 2012, 12-1pm CT
Presenter: Chris Napoleon, President & Chief Engineer, Napoleon Engineering Services (NES)
Overview: This webinar will focus on different bearing testing strategies and how the data is analyzed to provide a design or test engineer with information that supports the qualification process of rolling element bearings.  We'll look at the logic tree associated with bearing qualification then focus on the dynamic tests that can be done, test plan development and methodology, data analysis and comparison of test data to field data.  This webinar is ideal for those individuals who are trying to understand or develop a rolling element bearing qualification program for new product development or negotiating through the global supply chain.
Fee: FREE to attend for STLE members and non-members
[Click here] to register
[Click here] for more information
[Click here] to download Chris' previous presentation, The Value of Inspection and Testing on Global Bearing Sourcing

Upcoming Local Education Courses
Metalworking Fluid Management Certificate Course
Date/Time: 2 1/2 day course held February 19-21, 2013 (Tues-Thurs)
Location: Hampton Inn at the Airport, 8600 Bartram Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19153
Instructors: Dr. Neil Canter and Dr. Frederick Passman
Overview: This course provides a comprehensive overview of metalworking fluids, and is led by industry-renowned experts. The course is tailored to provide you with a comprehensive look at the latest techniques and practices that are sure to improve your metalworking fluid operation. The course gives you the opportunity to review the various operations that use metalworking fluids, explore the fundamentals of fluid and additive chemistry, analyze factors that affect the quality of metalworking fluids and the work environment, learn about the unique aspects of metalworking fluid microbiology and toxicology, and review a broad range of condition monitoring tests, learning how to use condition monitoring to manage metalworking fluids in individual sumps and large central systems.
Course Fee: $600 for STLE members; $735 for non-members (includes 1 year of free membership)
Inclusions: Course book/materials, lunch on full course days, breaks, additional resources
You can also sample the local Philadelphia Section's monthly technical meeting on February 21. Click here for details.
[Click here] for course details
[Click here] to view the course flyer
[Click here] to register

Annual Meeting Education Courses
We took your feedback from last year and have added or changed the following elements:
  • We revamped those courses that received constructive criticism from the previous year.
  • We've added two entirely new courses - including a new bearings course from ABMA and a co-hosted course with ASM International addressing corrosion.
  • We're offering 12 courses this year, including 2 more course options than ever before, which means more choice for you, so you can find a course that matches your professional development needs.
  • All education courses come with a boxed lunch and coffee (set up before the course starts, so you can get the most out of the morning and afternoon!).
Course dates have now been assigned, and courses will take place on either Sunday, May 5 or Wednesday, May 8, 2013. You can get more detail on each course as it's posted on our 2012 Annual Meeting page:

Sunday, May 5
  • An Introduction to Corrosion - NEW (co-hosted with ASM International)
  • Basic Lubrication 101 
  • BioFuels & Lubes
  • Condition Monitoring 301: CM in the 21st Century
  • Metalworking 105: Metal Forming Fluids
  • Synthetic Lubrication Overview
  • Grease and Rolling Element Bearings - NEW (co-hosted with ABMA)
Wednesday, May 8
  • Basic Lubrication 102
  • Advanced Lubrication 301
  • Automotive Lubrication - Gasoline
  • Hydraulics
  • Metalworking 250: Understanding and Controlling Metal Removal Fluid Failure
If you have any questions, contact Kara Sniegowski at or contact us at (847) 825-5536.

Will you be attending any of our upcoming events? Which course and why that one?
If you're not attending anything, what would you like us to offer that you don't see offered?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Surviving a Conference: Essential Tools You Must Have!

Whether you're attending the upcoming #IJTC2012, or you're planning on attending #STLE2013 in Detroit, MI, here are some great tools that could come in handy as you walk around the show or prepare for your trip:
  • TaxiMagic: a travel app to help you get from the conference to the airport and back
  • GroupMe: free group text messaging - use with co-workers or colleagues on site to coordinate plans
  • Evernote: take notes and share with others at the conference (if you're into sharing)
  • Cardmunch: iPhone app that allows you to scan a card on the spot, connect with that person on LinkedIn and make notes about the conversation and when/where you met them. You can also send emails to the contact from the app and forward the contact to your other accounts or to someone else.
  • #IJTC2012 and #STLE2013: use the Twitter hashtag to keep up with the conference - including sessions you cannot attend, connecting with other attendees and making your own comments/notes for post-conference use. If following, use a social media management/monitoring tool to keep up with discussions and tweetable tidbits (i.e. Tweetchat, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc.); you can also use Storify to organize all the relevant items mentioned about the conference that you've found on social media
  • Flickr: share photos in real time on STLE's photo stream either by uploading your own photos or by tagging yourself and friends in the photos we post. You could use any photo-sharing site - another popular site is Picasa. If you want it on the go, you can use Instagram.
If this is your first time attending, see our tips to help you acclimate. Once the event is over, be sure to check out our upcoming post on what to do after the conference.

What are your tips, tricks and best practices for attending a conference? What apps, tools, resources or websites would you recommend for the upcoming meeting? Leave a comment and make suggestions for your fellow travelers!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Best Practices for Section Leaders - Join us at #STLE2012

Panel Discussion on Best Practices for Local Sections
Sunday May 6, 2012, 5-6:30 p.m., Room 230, America's Center, St. Louis, Missouri (USA)
We've previously hosted 2 sessions to get a feel for what local sections are doing: here is an article with a summary of those two presentations, and below, you'll find some extracted ideas to try at your section this coming year. The panelists for the session include Robert Austin (Philadelphia Section), Jerry Byers (Cincinnati Section), Charles Paxton (Detroit Section), and Kuarlal Rampersad (Caribbean Section). We will also have input and ideas from sections unable to participate in the panel, including the Toronto, Hamilton, Portland, and Central Illinois Sections.
  1. Try a new schedule. If you find attendance is dwindling at your monthly meetings, try mixing it up: try a different day of the week or a different time of day. You have lots of options - just be sure to check with your membership to see what they'd prefer. You can try a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evening; try a morning meeting ("Early Bird" session), a lunch option, if you're close to many members and their offices; or try a mid-afternoon meeting, giving them flexibility on having a meal, but staying within the work day if they have social plans or wish to get home to their family. A mid-afternoon meeting could work on a Friday when members might head home early, so it works within their schedule.
  2. Utilize social media. Set up a group on LinkedIn (as a subgroup to STLE's LI group). It's easy to setup, and a great way to get started online and on social media. You can also set up a Facebook page, but some companies do not allow their employees access to that site.
  3. Find new and reward current members. Contact HQ and get a new membership list for your area each month - that way, you can update your list and reach out to potential new members. You can also keep track of long time members (5, 10, 15, 25, 50 years), and those who have recently obtained their certification. Once members have reached one of these milestones, have gifts planned and announce it at your meeting as part of your member recognition.
More ideas like this will be covered in this session and we'll soon have a resource that is chock-full of new ideas. If you're interested in viewing the past two sessions we conducted on best practices, as well as some other administrative resources (on how to conduct meetings/committees), see below.

Click here to view the recorded "Best Practices" presentations:
Large Sections Panel Discussion (<100 members)
Small Sections Panel Discussion (>100 members)
Other resources available:
Keys to Leading Productive Committees: Part I & Part II

Need something specific or have suggestions for how we can better assist you to administer your section? Tell us! Email us at

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Things to Do in St. Louis

If this is your first time visiting St. Louis (STL), be sure to look over the Visitor's Guide and get an overview from the destination video.

If you're traveling by plane: The public transportation options are great - their MetroLink (light rail line) is only $3.75 outbound from airports and $2.25 for everywhere else. To get more details on the MetroLink or MetroBus, visit the website. So you may not need to rent a car. Plus, most attractions are very close to the hotel and convention center - just a short walk.

If you're driving into STL, parking is available in garage and surface lots throughout downtown STL. The closest facilities to the America's Center are the garage and lot located on Seventh Street between Washington Ave and Convention Plaza - see the map for more detail.

Also, there is a lot of signage for attractions that you can utilize while you're driving in the city. Colorful new signs point the way to neighborhoods and “must-see” venues. “Attraction Corridors” signs are located along major thoroughfares that access a high concentration of visitor amenities, including:

  • Broadway – Downtown, Gateway Arch, Busch Stadium, City Museum, Edward Jones Dome, Scottrade Center, casinos, Soulard neighborhood

  • Grand Avenue – Grand Center Arts and entertainment district,

  • South Grand neighborhood, Missouri Botanical Garden, Chaifetz Arena

  • Kingshighway Boulevard – Saint Louis Zoo, Science Center, Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, Central West End and The Hill neighborhoods
Full lists of things to do while in STL:

Events Calendar (5/5-5/12) - you can filter the results based on your tastes, but events during the AM include the following and a lot more:
Star Trek Exhibition, Civil War Exhibit at the MO History Museum, OMNIMax Film - Space Junk & To the Arctic, Ansel Adams Exhibit (through May 6), In the Still Exhibit (Picasso, Matisse, etc.), Warhol's Polaroids, Microfest (craft beer tasting festival, May 4-5), Cinco de Mayo (May 5), Grant's Farm/Anheuser Bush Brewery (Clydesdale Camera Day - May 5), Grapes and the Garden (May 5 wine tasting) @ MO Botanical Gardens, STL Symphony - Beethoven 5 (May 5-6), 2012 Chess Championship (spectators welcome, May 7-20), Mary Poppins (May 8-13), The Fray (May 8), Art Fair (May 11), Cardinals Baseball Game (May 11).

If you're a foodie, here are some features that appeared on the Food Network and the Travel Channel: Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels, Food Finds, Road Tasted, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and Man v. Food (Adam is also in this video on Thin Crust Pizza - at 1:45 he recommends checking out Imo's in STL). STL is known for their unique pizza - a cracker thin crust with provel cheese. And, for those who like lists, here's a complete list of unique STL foods. Fair warning: all the links will probably make you hungry.

If you're on a budget, here is a list of free things to do in STL, as well as a link to St. Louis On the Cheap - a website that has discounts, coupons, and deals for the area.

Finally, we wanted to include staff favorites, from STLE staffer, Karl Phipps. He knows STL very well, since he grew up there, so he's got some good advice on places to eat and places to visit.

Places to Eat

Places to Visit

  • Grant’s Farm – Historic farm, which was once owned by the 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.

  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery – Daily brewery tours (with tasting).

  • Gateway Arch – Visit the nation’s tallest monument at 630 feet with a spectacular view of the St. Louis city skyline.

  • Saint Louis Zoo - One of the few zoos open to the general public that’s still free! Note: some special attractions cost a nominal fee.

  • St. Louis City Museum – Fun-filled exhibits and unique attractions.
We hope you enjoy your time in the meeting, as well as outside - get out and explore this unique and entertaining city!

Monday, April 9, 2012

AM Tech Session Update: MWF Hot Topic Panel Discussion

Metalworking Fluids "Hot Topic's" Panel Discussion REVISED Agenda
Based on the highly successful "Hot Topics" in metalworking fluids class, that was presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting, it was decided to give an update this year via a panel discussion in the Metalworking Fluids II Session on Monday afternoon (May 7), beginning at 1:30p.m.

Some recent government activity has caused us to modify the original agenda. In March 2012, OSHA revised the Hazard Communication Standard to align it with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It must be fully implemented by 2016, and imposes new hazard definitions for safety data sheets (SDSs) and labels and pictograms to be used on labels and in the workplace.

Based on the implications of this new rule for all chemical manufacturers, including metalworking fluids, the "Hot Topics" panel discussion agenda has been revised to devote time to this very important and timely topic. The first hour will be devoted to providing information on how this new GHS rule impacts fluid manufacturers, including ingredient classifications and requirements for exact percentage disclosure of hazardous ingredients. That will be followed by updates on biocides (including the current situation with formaldehyde) and chlorinated paraffins along with a review of the SCAQMD's Rule 1144 in California. Time will be allowed at the end for discussion. Plan to attend to get updated on the industry, ask questions of industry experts, and take part in the discussion.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

AM Education Course Feature: Condition Monitoring 301

STLE asked the course instructors and chair to provide some detail on the course, and you can read on to get a preview of the course itself. You can register for the meeting and the course, or get some more information on our Annual Meeting page.

First, can you give us an overview of the field and how this course got started?
“Condition Monitoring” is a relatively new term, perhaps 20-25 years old. I founded this course on the observation that CM was going to be a very important concept as equipment and lubricants continued to get more sophisticated. It was also the first practically-oriented STLE course that dealt with in-service lubricants.

How does this course differ from last year or previous courses offered on CM?
This course is significantly more advanced and is targeted to persons who already have experience in oil analysis and CM. Basics are mentioned in passing but the objective is to provide a more technical program.

Are there are any prerequisites for attending this course?

Attendees should have a good basic understanding of oil analysis and the CM concept, generally: the notion of preventive action triggered by CM data, evaluated by knowledgeable people.

What can one expect to learn and be able to bring back to their workplace?

Whether data evaluation and rendering opinions is the goal of the attendee, an appreciation of what an oil analysis or other CM report provides should be gained. If the attendee is a manager of those involved in data evaluation and opinion rendering, then he/she will have a good appreciation of the process so as to facilitate the team in accomplishing CM goals. The theme of this course is "21st Century Condition Monitoring," and this is the crux of what our team is presenting: cutting edge approaches to this valuable, necessary concept.

The short answer is that CM, properly done by competent people in a competent system, saves or earns money by early detection of potential problems and/or increasing component availability, respectively.

Meet the instructors, and see what they're teaching:

Evan Zabawski: Advanced Data Interpretation
A successful condition monitoring program requires the right data coupled with the right interpretation. Obtaining the right data can be relatively simple, but getting a decent interpretation often relies on setting appropriate alarm limits or properly identifying abnormal trends. Leveraging historical data from the same asset and other similar assets is ideal, but the execution often produces sub-par results. This presentation will critique a variety of techniques used for both setting alarm limits and trending data, and then offer a model which uses an amalgamation of the best concepts. Examples will be used to illustrate key concepts. This presentation is aimed at any individual involved in the interpretation of data or decision-making resulting from condition monitoring data (e.g. Reliability Engineers, Maintenance Planners, etc.)

Chad Chichester: Condition Monitoring (CM) Techniques Complementary to Oil Analysis

Many companies elect to employ a multitude of condition monitoring techniques. The nature of failure analysis and prediction is becoming more complex and each technique offers insight to root causation of failures, and impending failures intended to be mitigated. Isolating techniques to confines of their own data, interpretation, and topical experts may prevent reliability and maintenance practitioners from realizing the full potential of using multiple techniques. Integration of data and information from multiple techniques can improve asset owners’ ability to succinctly identify root cause and/or impending failures. This module will focus on CM techniques like, vibration analysis, infrared thermography, and acoustic emissions and how such methods can be aggregated and synergistically complementary to oil analysis.

Allison Toms: Impact of Machinery Configuration and Operations on Monitoring Techniques and Data

Over the past decade, changes in machinery configuration and operational demands have had a profound impact on oil analysis condition monitoring. Machinery and lubricant OEMs and government research have invested in improvements in both the design and materials used in manufacturing and production as well as in lubricant formulation. Many of these improvements have not been adequately reflected in current testing practices. Testing equipment and methodologies have also improved and new monitoring tools have been introduced to address new problems. This presentation will touch on some of the changes to oil analysis over the past decade such as lubricants and additives; component design, configuration and alloy compositions; improved and new testing equipment, technology, techniques; operational and environmental factors; and customer desires. The presentation will include on-line sensors and at-line applications to meet some of these changes as well as the means to achieve improved machinery condition indicators and estimates on remaining useful life through integration of monitoring techniques. Examples and case histories will be presented.

Jack Poley (also Course Chair): Condition Monitoring International and Kittiwake Developments - Changing Paradigms in CM: Online Oil Analysis, Extended Particle Analysis, Software and More

Oil Analysis has changed rather radically in the last decade. The advent of dependable, effective online sensors for metallic wear debris is probably the most obvious such change, leading to a ‘3-tiered’ system of oil analysis: Online, Onsite, Offsite, each having its own advantages. Practitioners can employ one or all avenues. Particulate analysis, especially those near the visible range, is increasingly more advanced. Computerization has provided us with the ability to set limits and plot trends, but nowadays that’s not news. The use of Intelligent Agents in resolving increasingly complex data sets that can include streaming data from online metallic debris or vibration sensors makes it possible, given strong domain expertise, to auto-generate very sophisticated and accurate opinions AND get them to the right stakeholder for timely intervention as may be needed via selective report recipients,. The notion of humans poring over data one sample after the next is on its way out. Information needs to be specific, relevant , consistent and tidy, delivered quickly and effectively to the right parties.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Keynote at #STLE2012: Margaret Stack Discusses the Tribo-Corrosion Network

In this episode, we get a chance to talk to Dr. Margaret Stack, keynote speaker for the 2012 STLE Annual Meeting (#STLE2012). Margaret's talk, entitled "Exploring the Tribo-Corrosion Network," will take place on Monday, May 7, 10:30 a.m. to noon in the America's Center, St. Louis, Missouri (USA). See below for an abstract of her talk, her bio, and some more resources.

Professor Margaret Stack, BE MSc PhD DSc, has served in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, since January 2001. She was awarded a DSc from UMIST the University of Manchester in 2003 based on her published work. She is the author of 140 papers on wear (solid particle erosion, sliding wear and micro-abrasion) of materials in corrosive environments and has presented the work at more than 50 national and international conferences. Much of her work has focused on the development of mechanistic maps to describe materials behavior in tribo-corrosion conditions (in dry and wet environments) and on the development of mathematical models of these processes. Professor Stack is a member of several editorial boards including Tribology International and Open Applied Physics. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is the U.K. representative to the EFC working party on tribo-corrosion.

Tribology can lead to corrosion and also interact with corrosion processes. The possible mechanisms involved and the variables which contribute to the degradation are many. Hence, description of such interactions presents a major challenge for researchers in this area.In recent years, various mapping methodologies have been proposed in an attempt to define tribocorrosion mechanisms. These assign regimes of material behavior based on the tribology and corrosion contributions to the wastage. They also are used to identify synergies between the processes and material wastage levels which can be tolerated for the exposure conditions.In this presentation, tribo-corrosion maps for erosion-corrosion, microabrasion-corrosion and sliding wear-corrosion are discussed. Mathematical models, which have been developed in this area, will be presented. In addition, some typical examples of how such maps can be used to solve important tribo-corrosion scenarios in Industry will be addressed.

To find out more about the topic, you can read the abstract of the co-authored paper in the journal Wear, entitled: "Tribo-Corrosion Mechanisms of Stainless Steel in Soft Drinks."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Two Perspectives on Attending #STLE2012

In a recent interview, we talked to two STLE members - one a student and the other a young professional about their past attendance at STLE Annual Meetings, and their advice for others looking to attend too.
Rachel Colbert, STLE Student Member
How did you first decide to attend the STLE Annual Meeting? I got involved in STLE initially through my advisor. He highly encouraged everyone working in the laboratory to attend STLE. The first meeting I attended I presented a poster, but since then have participated in both the podium and poster presentations.

What were your expectations prior to attending that first meeting? I was not sure what to expect for my first meeting other than being excited for the Berries and Cream Social.

What did you think of the poster competition? Are you presenting this year? I think that the student poster competition is a great way to start to get involved in the meeting. The years I have participated, I have found it to be a way to network with both professionals who were also interested in my research as well as the other student presenters around me. I have been able to make contacts and friends across the country and world. I also found that the poster presentations are a little more informal than the talks which has provided me a chance to have in depth conversations with people about my work which to some extent has helped shape my research and provided me with job/internship opportunities.

What did you think of the Student/Young Professional networking event? It was quite fun last year. There was not a huge turn out, but everyone who did attend had a great time. It's yet another way to network in the field but in a more informal setting.
STLE Note: This year's event promises to be even better! We will have key STLE members - including incoming President Jerry Byers, Young Tribologist Committee members, young professionals and students. It will be a great mix of people leading to great discussions and contacts you can utilize after the meeting. Click here for more details - it will happen on Tuesday, May 8, from 7:30-10:30 at Flamingo Bowl. Share this information with your colleagues and encourage them to attend (with an RSVP of course!).

Do you have any advice for those presenting this year? Practice, but don't memorize. Knowing the presentation in and out and presenting in front of my lab mates has helped get me ready for questions as well as know that when my nerves kick in I will still have a general idea of what I want to say.

What recommendations do you have for a first time attendee (things to do or see, people to meet, etc.)? Attend the welcome reception and any other social events, but when you do make sure to converse with people outside of your lab or normal social group. It's a great way to make professional contacts in the field. Also make sure to bring business cards. It's the easiest way to exchange information. When you receive someone's business card, write on the back how you met them and what you discussed so you will remember by the time you get back home. Try and plan out what talks you would like to attend in advance, but be flexible with your schedule. My last recommendation is when attending talks, attempt to come up with at least one thoughtful question to ask the presenter. Even if you are too nervous to ask during the session, you can ask them during the next break. This provides an ice breaker and a way to meet some of the top researchers in the field.

David Burris, STLE Member, University of Delaware
How did you first decide to attend the meeting? I had done undergraduate research and the work was accepted for a podium presentation.

What were your first impressions? I remember being impressed by the variety of research present at the annual meeting. The type of work that we were doing in the lab was only a very small fraction of the breadth of work by the community.

What was the top thing you took away from the meeting? As an undergraduate, the top thing to me was traveling (via van) from Florida to NYC. I had never been to NY and this was quite an experience for me. However, I remember being inspired and getting a lot of new ideas about the directions my research would take. Since this first meeting, the number one take away from this meeting is re-invigoration and inspiration for new studies.

What would you say to convince others to go? This is by far the best, most efficient way to learn about the current standing and future directions of tribology research. It is an essential yearly trip for the aspiring researcher.

Now that you’ve attended a few meetings, what makes you come back every year? Going to the annual meeting really helps me stay current, identify emerging trends, and choose my paths forward in different areas of research I am involved in.

How do you meet new people? What if you don't know anyone at the meeting? Asking someone a thoughtful question about their research presentation or abstract is an excellent way to break the ice of a cold introduction.

What are your recommendations for making the transition from student to young professional? Get involved. Participating in the business meetings for the technical tracks is a good starting point. You will naturally meet and work with professionals with common research interests. The progression from student to profession is a natural one for those who get involved.

If you are a student or young professional, be sure to check out all our resources for #STLE2012:

April Webinars: Engine Friction Reduction & Hydraulic Fluids and Systems

Looking for continuing education on engines or hydraulics? April is the month for you.

Tribological Perspective on Engine Friction Reduction
Instructor: Arup Gangopadhyay, Ford Motor Company
Date/Time: April 11, 2012, 12-1 p.m. CDT, with extended Q&A from 1-1:30 p.m.
Short Abstract: The webinar will focus on energy losses in a vehicle and in particular, the frictional losses from critical engine systems. The lubrication regimes of these systems will be reviewed and some of actions could be taken for friction reduction. Industry trends towards reducing engine friction will be reviewed.

Hydraulic Fluid Properties and Hydraulic Systems - A Vital Link
Instructor: Paul Michael, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Date/Time: April 18, 2012, 12-1 p.m. CDT, with extended Q&A from 1-1:30 p.m.
Short Abstract: This webinar will cover hydraulic pumps, motors, valves, cylinders and hoses. We will examine its function of each component, the different types of components, and getting optimal efficiency out of each part in the system, including how to choose the right fluid for the application. This discussion will also cover the concepts of volumetric efficiency, mechanical efficiency and fatigue life, and how to measure each.

While you're checking out the webinars, be sure to keep an eye on the month of May - we'll be broadcasting a panel discussion live from the #STLE2012 Annual Meeting focusing on Synthetics, with more details available soon including panelists and topical focus. Feel free to let me know what you'd like to hear about and we can include that in the discussion. Also, after the Annual Meeting, we'll be hosting an Idea Exchange - where you can share ideas and what you saw with colleagues, and get an idea of what others took away from the conference.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#STLE2012 Tips for First Timers

#STLE2012 kicks off in about six weeks, and I wanted to share some tips for first-time attendees.

  • Go with a purpose. Whether you want to meet new people and network, find a solution to a problem encountered at work, or glean best practices from your colleagues, have a goal in mind and try to achieve it every day.

  • Have a schedule, but be flexible. Draft a game plan for the week on the drive or plane ride, using the preliminary program guide as a reference. If you're traveling with a group or have a group of similarly minded individuals, divide up your time accordingly so you can see the most and share/compare notes after the session or when you get back to the office. If you find a given session isn't what you thought it'd be, make sure to have a second option. Don't be afraid to "vote with your feet." We know you want to get something out of every session - that's what we want too! Finally, don't overschedule yourself. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of technical sessions (over 350!) and other events, but realize that you won't be able to attend everything you want.

  • Introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Don't just stick with your co-workers (they can be your crutch to avoid meeting new people or trying new things). You'll get more out of the conference if you branch out and talk to someone else who has the same job or research interests as you do. And if you're coming to the meeting on your own, don't be afraid to approach people: (a) there are other people like you there (other first-timers), just find them and you can join forces, (b) everyone is friendly and will be open and accepting, and (c) you will find people who share your interests just by attending technical sessions - after all, you're both there because you have the same interests, so all you have to do is strike up a conversation.

  • Step outside of your box: sit at a table of people you don't know at the President's lunch, introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you at a technical session, tag along with a group you've just met to different events, and reach out. The more you try, the more likely you are to make some contacts and get the most out of the AM. You should also try attending a session outside of your research interests or job function. Getting a broad knowledge of the industry may lead to an innovation or idea you wouldn't have had otherwise, or a connection that may lead to a job or new colleague.

  • Contribute to the discussion for #STLE2012. If you're in an interesting session, let other's know about it.

  • Follow the back channel (#STLE2012) - it will help you keep up on what's going on, both the published stuff and the unpublished/spontaneous stuff.

  • Come to the YP/Student Networking event on Tuesday night May 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Flamingo Bowl. Come for some hors d'oeuvres, drinks and networking with young professionals, as well as key STLE members, so you can make some great career connections. Details will be on the AM webpage and will be included in AM emails, but make sure you RSVP so we have enough food to go around.

  • If you're participating in the student poster competition, be sure to visit the website (scroll down to the student/YP section) for updates, and keep an eye out for the email with instructions you'll need to get your bearings for the day. If you haven't gotten instructions yet, let us know.

  • Also, as a take-away, remember that we will have a CD of proceedings available for free to all meeting attendees. The CD includes a listing of the papers we received by the publication date, so not all papers may be listed in the CD, and others will have an extended abstract. It's something to take with you and share with colleagues after the event.

  • Visit the exhibit floor. Here, you can meet potential employers if you're starting your job search, or you can make contacts to help you with your job, find solutions to common problems, and find out about the newest products on the market. Click here to see a list of exhibitors, so you can plan out your attack plan for the exhibit floor.

  • Bring a ton of business cards - you will go through them, either on the exhibit floor, or just through the new contacts you make. If you don't have business cards, have something you can hand out with your contact information. Websites like VistaPrint have an option where you can get 250 cards for $10.

  • Come to the Membership Booth and we will point you in the direction of someone you can network or talk shop with, or we will be able to point you in the direction of members who can provide introductions to specific technical groups and/or key contacts. Staff and volunteers will be staffing the booth, so you can meet us and pick our brains, or even offer up ideas on membership and offerings. Also, we'll have some great give-aways as an extra incentive to come see us! We get lonely, so be sure to come say hi.

  • Get some rest - you'll need it, with a week jam-packed with events!

  • Bring snacks. Just in case your stomach decides to rumble in the middle of a session and lunch is hours away.

  • Plan out the social side of things (and how to get there). See what you can do while you're in St. Louis with some of these great links: Explore Neighborhoods (we'll be in Downtown, but you can go beyond, especially if you're driving to STL); 25 Things to Do; Day Trips/Excursions; sample Itineraries, and How to Get Around STL. Listen to this podcast (coming soon) with Karl Phipps, STLE staffer and STL native.

  • Remember to have fun - this is a great opportunity for you to meet with like-minded individuals, probably the only time throughout the year you are in the same room with so many folks in tribology and lubrication engineering (around 1,100)!

Some other resources, if you're interested, include Bob Gresham's webinar presentation on getting the most out of your attendance at #STLE2012 (click here to register), and the TLT articles: A Business Case for Attending the AM and Tribology's Big Show. You can also read the interviews we conducted with two STLE members for their perspective on attending the meeting for the first time: Rachel Colbert, student member, and David Burris, young professional and Chair of the Young Tribologists Committee. Finally, keep an eye out for the post on things to do in St. Louis. It includes some tips from STLE Staffer Karl Phipps - he'll be able to give you the best tips since he grew up there!