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The 50th Anniversary celebrations of tribology

The 9th March 2016 saw the 50th anniversary of the publication of a ground-breaking report in engineering. The report officially entitled “Lubrication (Tribology) Education and Research” is commonly referred to as the “JOST Report”. It described the findings of a committee, organised on behalf of the British government, to report on how the UK could reduce engineering failures and save the UK hundreds of millions of pounds. The committee was chaired by Prof H Peter Jost and the report also coined the word “tribology” as the science and study of “interacting surfaces in relative motion”.

To celebrate the event, Professor Ian Sherrington, Director of the JOST Institute for Tribotechnology at the University of Central Lancashire, organised a 50th Anniversary seminar at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in Westminster. The event included a lunch attended by the IMechE President Dr Richard Folkson, the IMechE Engineering Director Dr Colin Brown and eminent tribologists from Europe and the USA. This was followed by a series of presentations in the Main Hall of the IMechE detailing developments in different areas of tribology over the last 50 years. The meeting was attended by almost 150 delegates from across the world.

The IMechE seminar was followed by an evening reception at Buckingham Palace attended by representatives of tribology societies from many countries as well as eminent engineers and political figures from the UK. As Administrator to the International Tribology Council, UCLan’s Professor Sherrington was one of a small number of individuals to be introduced personally to Prince Philip, in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace.

Professor Sherrington said: “The day was a hugely successful celebration. The JOST Report established a technological momentum in the UK that was also adopted by other countries, leading to many key developments globally, not just in practices related to engineering, but also in other areas such as healthcare. Even more remarkably, the effects of the report are still being felt as tribology research continues to contributes to developments in such topics as components for mobile phones, touch screens for tablets and computers and a subject called tribotronics which will see development of intelligent machine components which are able to communicate and manage their own operation using sensors, embedded computing power and the internet.”