The Toronto Section of the STLE (Society of Tribologist and Lubrication Engineers) is one of many spread around the world but which are concentrated in North America. Most are in the USA, but there are Canadian Sections like Toronto.
The STLE was originally founded in 1944 as the ASLE (American Society of Lubrication Engineers). The name was changed to open up the membership to tribologists with the focus on much more than just lubrication.
The purpose is as follows:
To advance the science of tribology and the practice of lubrication engineers in order to foster innovation, improve the performance of equipment and products, conserve resources and protect the environment.
The Toronto Section has about 150 members from across the GTA and includes educators, researchers, suppliers and users. We hold monthly dinner meetings, tours and education courses. The STLE also hosts an annual meeting with approximately 300 technical presentations and 1,500 attendees. This has been held in Toronto on three occasions. The STLE is a not-for-profit organization and commercialism is discouraged.
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In The Beginning...
...the Buffalo Section, chartered in 1946, served the needs of members in the Niagara Peninsula, Hamilton and Toronto areas. Later, in 1951, an Ontario Section was set up at the instigation of Tom Marshall, Art Thorburn and Bill Belfry which was the first Section to be formed outside of the United States. The monthly meetings were held alternately in Toronto and Hamilton.
During the next eight years, the Ontario Section grew and we remember with affection the Chairpersons who steered us through those early days:
1951/53 - T.A. Marshall; 1953/54 - J. Boase; 1954/55 - R.G. Armstrong; 1955/56 - W.B. Dembner; 1956/57 - J.F. Parker; 1957/58 - C.I.R McDougall; 1958/59 - W.H. Mann
By the end of 1958 membership had topped the 100 mark so a separate Hamilton Section was formed and to avoid confusion the Ontario Section was re-named the Toronto Section which received its charter on February 10, 1959.
Meetings were first held in neighbourhood shopping centre restaurants but after the first three seasons graduated to more opulent quarters at Casa Loma. In 1966/67 meetings moved to the Swiss Guild and in 1967/68 The Ports of Call. With a brief interlude (1976/77) at the King Edward Hotel, remained at "Ports" until the 1979/80 season. With its closing we were at the Roehampton Hotel for 1980/81 and 1981/82 found us in our present very pleasant quarters at the Old Mill.
The year 1967 was a very important one for Canada because of the Centennial celebrations and for the Toronto Section because it was the occasion of the very first Annual Meeting of the Society to be held outside of the U.S.A. We were honoured to act as host at the King Edward Sheraton Hotel. In 1986 the Annual Meeting was held in Toronto, this time at the Royal York Hotel with over 1,500 attendees. In 2004 the Annual Meeting was in Toronto again but at the Sheraton. This was very successful and the organizing committee was composed of both Toronto and Hamilton Section members.
In addition to our regular meetings, the Section has organized one day Seminars which have been very successful, often attracting 100 or more. These seminars are usually in Toronto but have been held in Barrie, Peterborough, Kingston and Sarnia. Meetings have also been organized with AIPE, ASME, SAE and the National Research Council's Associate Committee on Tribology.
Members have become more proactive as well by becoming increasingly involved in fostering a greater awareness of the importance of tribology. This is being done by providing free memberships to selected students, giving grants to local universities to encourage education and research in tribology, providing speakers for educational institutions, giving awards at science fairs and preparing publicity material. This has been well received but the work is to now convince industrial decision makers.
We of the Toronto Section are also proud of our achievements in being awarded best Canadian Section in 1981/82 and 1983/84, and the best Eastern Canadian Section in 1989/90 and in 1990/91. More importanly the achievements of the Toronto Section were celebrated when they were recognized as the recipient of the STLE Outstanding Large Section Award in 1983/84, 1990/91 and again in 2011/12.