Our Mission Statement
To advance the science of tribology and the practice of lubrication engineering in order to foster innovation, improve the performance of equipment and products, conserve resources and protect the environment.
Our Vision Statement
To be a leader in the global network of individuals, institutions, societies and corporate entities with a common interest in advancing the science of tribology and the practice of lubrication engineering.
Roots of the Organization
STLE is an individual membership society focusing on professional, technical and scientific issues and needs. It was founded on March 3, 1944, in Chicago as the American Society of Lubrication Engineers (ASLE). From these early days, into the 1980s, the organization’s primary audience was plant engineers in charge of lubrication for production equipment at major facilities like auto plans or steel mills. Major activities were technical conferences, peer-reviewed publishing and educational activities.
To adapt and reflect evolving market and audience needs, the organization’s membership voted in 1987 to change the name to Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). This acknowledged a growing international participation and appealed to a more diverse audience that encompassed many aspects of engineering and tribology, as well as the traditional base of lubrication engineers and suppliers of liquid lubricants.
Today, STLE is the premier technical society serving the needs of more than 10,000 individuals and 150 companies and organizations that comprise the tribology and lubrication engineering business sector. STLE members are technical experts who research, develop and market the methods and products that make industry more successful and that enhance the well-being of people worldwide. Our members are employed by the world’s leading corporations and academic institutions and by governmental agencies dealing with science and technology. STLE supports these distinguished men and women with a variety of professional education and certification programs.
STLE is incorporated in the State of Illinois. Structure and governance procedures are defined in a Constitution and Bylaws, which have recently been updated and revised. In addition, a strategic plan directs the ongoing activities of the Society. Annual budget is approximately $2.25 million.
STLE’s elected leadership is provided by a 24-member Board of Directors. The President, who serves a one-year term, is the organization’s chief elected officer and the chairman of the Board of Directors.
Complementing and extending the work of the Board is an impressive volunteer network that includes hundreds of individuals serving in a variety of ways. This might include participation in one of 23 technical committees and councils, an administrative committee, serving as an associate editor or reviewer for a Society journal or local Section activity.
Working in concert with the elected leadership and volunteers is a 7-person professional staff. This group operates from the Society’s 9,000 sq. ft. headquarters building located in Park Ridge, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The STLE staff has combined experience of more than 100 years in association and organization management.
Organizational Strategy and Services
STLE’s current mission and vision statement demonstrate how the founding purpose has expanded to serve a more complex and dynamic international technical audience and to meet new and more difficult challenges.
Mission Statement: To advance the science of tribology and the practice of lubrication engineering in order to foster innovation, improve the performance of equipment and products, conserve resources and protect the environment.
Audience demographics are distributed among four major categories:
• Lubricant manufacturer, supplier or distributor (41%)
• Thought leaders in research, consulting and technical service and academia (23%)
• End user of lubricants (15%)
• Additive manufacturer, supplier or distributor (12%)
• Specialized segments (9%)
STLE’s scope of activity falls into three major areas:
1. Identification and dissemination of new knowledge, through international technical conferences (two per year), peer-review journal publishing (the official STLE journal is known as Tribology Transactions), student scholarship programs and awards to salute outstanding work in the field. The end result is that innovative research leads to significant economic and social benefits through the practical application of tribology and lubrication science.
2. Identification, codification and dissemination of existing knowledge. This occurs at hundreds of annual education courses offered during the STLE annual meeting, local section meetings, online and through a network of education partner affiliates. STLE publishes a monthly technical magazine (Tribology and Lubrication Technology), is building an online digital library with hundreds of technical articles that capture decades of lubrication best practices, and has a robust book publishing operation. Thanks to this activity, STLE is transferring fundamental knowledge to a new generation of employees worldwide.
3. STLE improves the ability of members and member organizations to operate successfully in their business environment. More than 1,000 individuals currently hold one or more of the professional designations offered through three certification programs. STLE has been in the professional certification business since 1993. In addition, STLE membership represents both a symbol of technical expertise and access to a knowledge network that serves 3,500 individuals and 150 corporate members. These companies and individuals are recognized as the world’s leading experts on lubricants, applied lubrication practices and tribology research.
Strategic Vision: To be a leader in the global network of individuals, institutions, societies and corporate entities with a common interest in advancing the science of tribology and the practice of lubrication engineering.
STLE hosted the third World Tribology Congress in September 2005, which brought together about 1000 members of STLE and 40 other organizations that belong to the International Tribology Council. As STLE marks its 75th anniversary in 2019, the organization is reaching out to members in 60 countries around the world with trusted technical information and education.
Creation and dissemination of reliable technical information, STLE’s strength for 75 years, will continue defining our organization’s purpose and value in the future. As the world searches for solutions to environmental and energy challenges, many of which are tied to the fundamentals of tribology and lubricants, STLE stands ready to be the trusted source of information for an expanding audience of people looking for answers to these challenges.