Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers
The Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers or "STLE" is the premier technical society that serves the needs of more than 10,000 individuals and 150 companies and organizations that comprise the tribology and lubrication engineering business sector, bringing together managers, engineers, scientists, technicians, academics, and government institutions from around the world to learn and share the “best practices” for the tribology
Tribology is the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion. It includes the study and application of the principles of friction, lubrication and wear...

 and lubrication
Lubrication is the process, or technique employed to reduce wear of one or both surfaces in close proximity, and moving relative to each another, by interposing a substance called lubricant between the surfaces to carry or to help carry the load between the opposing surfaces. The interposed...


This professional organization's stated mission is 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. Its stated vision is 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.

This international and interdisciplinary society operates from its 9000 sq ft (836.1 m²). headquarters building located in Park Ridge, Illinois, a suburb located fifteen miles (24 km) northwest of downtown Chicago, where staff focus on areas of membership, certification, technical information and training, and publications to better support its members who influence the worldwide communities affected by tribology and lubricants.


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.
Creation and dissemination of reliable technical information, STLE’s strength for 65 years, will continue defining the 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.


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 9-person professional staff who work out of its headquarters in Park Ridge. In its entirety, the STLE staff have combined experience of more than 100 years in association and organization management.

STLE is recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization.


Membership in the STLE is open to anyone involved with tribology and lubrication issues, especially as they apply to industrial production and who want to acknowledge their professionalism and focus in these fields. There are 4 ways for an individual to become a member of the STLE; corporate membership, regular membership, associate membership, and student membership.

Corporate membership provides opportunities for industry to stay at the forefront of their field. Included in this membership is the membership magazine TLT, plus online access to the full archives of Tribology Transactions and Tribology Letters. Also included are two free admissions to the annual meeting including two education courses. Corporate members receive discounts on exhibit booth space and Commercial Marketing Forum registrations, and are listed in the STLE Online Corporate Member Directory.

Regular membership is available to the technical individual with an engineering or science degree or equivalent experience. Membership carries voting privileges and leadership opportunities on both the national and local levels, such as involvement in various committees through the organization or one of the local sections.

Associate membership is open regardless of experience or educational background to anyone with an interest in lubrication engineering. Associate membership carries voting privileges and leadership opportunities on the local level, such as a local section of the STLE organization.

Student membership is available for interested students studying in one of the education fields of lubrication engineering at a collegiate level, whether they be undergraduate or graduate and offers discounts for various STLE events, such as registration to the Annual Meeting or International Joint Tribology conferences each year.


STLE's magazine "Tribology & Lubrication Technology" or TLT and its two scholarly journals, "Tribology Transactions" and "Tribology Letters" are respected sources for reliable technical and scientific information and peer-reviewed research papers, known throughout the tribology and lubrication industries. On top of these significant publications, STLE also offers a monthly e-newsletter that can be accessed on the organization's website.

Tribology & Lubrication Technology is the official monthly magazine of STLE and is provided free as part of STLE membership. TLT was created to aid in the technical education and professional development of STLE members and industry colleagues. Each issue is filled with feature articles, case studies, best practice analysis, industry surveys, interviews with leading professionals, resources, lubrication fundamentals and more. TLT published its first issue in October 2003 and in June 2009 the magazine went digital, allowing for a total circulation of more than 13,000 print and online readers and articles that can be translated into 38 languages.

Tribology Transactions features scientific and technical papers in the field of tribology. Since its inception in 1957, the quarterly journal has published more than 2,000 papers of relevance to a wide variety of industries. Transactions is read and referenced by nearly 1,000 leaders in the field of tribology research in countries around the world.

Tribology Letters is devoted to the development of the science of tribology and its applications. It serves as a depository for new information on the properties of surfaces and interfaces in relative motion, among which are friction, lubrication, wear, adhesion, failure and contact phenomena. The journal facilitates communication and exchange of seminal ideas among thousands of practitioners who are engaged worldwide in the pursuit of tribology-based science and technology. Coverage spans all areas of industrial and academic tribology. Tribology Letters fosters the cross-fertilization of ideas by rapid dissemination of the results of frontier research and development

Education and Certification

Professional development activities are at the heart of the STLE's programs. Technical professionals working in tribology and the lubricants industry expect that organizations like the STLE will remain as their primary source of continuing education. The STLE offers educational programs in several different venues and formats, such as the annual meeting, local sections, online education, certifications, and education partners.

The Annual Meeting is a week long conference that occurs each May in various cities across the U.S., where one-day technical education courses are taught by professionals who have in-depth knowledge of current trends in their respective fields. Local Sections often conduct education days during the year, using a format similar to the Annual Meeting courses. The STLE also implementing online education in 2010 to the betterment of its members and it also works in conjunction with Education partners who have recommended training programs to further the success of the individual in the lubrication industry.

The STLE is also proud to offer credentialing in 3 areas of expertise with sponsored certifications exams. The value of STLE certification has been proven in the market place with increased income and immediate respect and credibility with buyers and peers. These certifications are designed to be consistent with the standards of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA), ISO 17024, and also distinguish between a credible real professional and a “self-proclaimed” expert. These 3 exams are the Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS), Oil Monitoring Analyst (OMA I and OMA II), and Certified Metalworking Fluids Specialist (CMFS).

Certified Lubrication Specialist (CLS) is the only independent certification for the lubrication professional that verifies your broad lubrication engineering knowledge. Certification recognizes those individuals who possess current knowledge of lubrication fundamentals and best practices in lubrication maintenance in industrial settings. Certified individuals must have at least three years of experience in the field of lubrication.

Oil Monitoring Analyst (OMA) is the certification for the Predictive Maintenance Professional that demonstrates competence in the field of machinery oil monitoring. Oil monitoring in this context consists of sampling and analyzing the oil properties to assess whether the oil needs service and/or to assess the mechanical health of the equipment being monitored. There are two types of OMA certifications. OMA I is for the oil sampler, the individual on the shop floor with responsibility for sampling the oil and the overall care of the equipment. OMA II is for the oil analyzer, the individual in the laboratory responsible for properly running the appropriate tests, data interpretation, program management, and related activities.

Certified Metalworking Fluids Specialist (CMFS) verifies knowledge, experience and education in this specialized and growing field. The certification is intended for individuals with overall responsibility for metal removal or forming fluids management; for specialists with on-site responsibility for metal removal or forming systems, and for others involved with research, instruction, evaluation, analysis, selection, technical management, application and handling of metalworking fluids and related materials.
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