Tribology Division

Tribology Division (TRIB) is established to serve the members and associate members of the ASME who have designated their interest in the science & technology of Tribology.


The Tribology Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is established to serve the members and associate members of the ASME who have designated their interest in the science & technology of Tribology. The field of Tribology includes the analysis of friction, wear, lubrication phenomena and the application of such principles to mechanical design, product development, manufacturing processes & machine operation.

The objectives of the Division, which serve as the basis for its committees, include:

  • Gathering & disseminating knowledge in Tribology through all forms of publication
  • Organizing knowledge in Tribology for educational purposes
  • Exchanging knowledge in Tribology through personal interaction at technical expositions
  • Encouraging a cooperative exchange of ideas in Tribology between the industrial & academic communities
  • Informing the membership of collaborative opportunities with the international Tribology community
  • Publicizing noteworthy accomplishments of the members
  • Identifying & promoting opportunities for research & development in Tribology


Upcoming Events

March 29, 2023 at 12 noon ET
The Tribology of Touch 
Cynthia Hipwell, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University

Register Here

Haptics is the field that deals with technology that stimulates the sense of touch and motion. Haptic researchers are working to create the same level of fidelity in touch-based recording and display that we currently have in audio and video. Why is this so complicated? One of the many reasons is the complexity of the finger-device interface and the role that this plays in the generation of touch perception in humans. Multiphysics modeling of interfacial phenomena such as capillary forces and surface tension, electrowetting, electrophoresis, multiphase flow, and soft tissue contact mechanics can help predict friction under various conditions and enable purposeful design for consistent or enhanced performance. Examples in haptic design will be explored. Additionally, we will consider how human finger property changes can be used as bioinspiration for active friction modulation in clutches and robotic grasping.

Bio: Dr. Cynthia Hipwell is the Oscar S. Wyatt, Jr. ’45 Chair II at Texas A&M University. She has been working in technology development based upon nanoscale phenomena for over 25 years. She was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering for leadership in the development of technologies to enable areal density and reliability increases in hard disk drives.

April 26, 2023 at 12 noon ET
Tackling the puzzle invented by the devil – “Tribology of Glass Materials”
Seong H. Kim, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Register Here
Wolfgang Pauli, an eminent physicist, said “God made the bulk; the surface was invented by the devil.” This quote depicts how drastically the surface property can differ from the bulk property. Glass is a non-equilibrium material – this means that its structure is not a state function, but a path function. In other words, its properties cannot be fully described or predicted with its composition, temperature, and pressure; they vary depending on the history such as cooling rate from the melt or annealing temperature. This adds a great deal of complexity in structure-property relationships of bulk glass. When it comes to surface properties, it is even more complicated because glass surface is exposed to humid air and often touched by other physical objects. In this webinar, I will discuss tribology and surface science of silicate glass surfaces. 
Bio: Dr. Kim’s career at Penn State explores three different frontiers – tribology, silicate glass, and plant cell walls. The crux of these seemingly disparate programs is a fundamental understanding of surface science and characterization principles and the application of those principles. In doing so, he questioned assumptions that others have taken for granted, proposed alternative hypotheses, listened to criticisms, and improved the proposed theories. These efforts led to new knowledge in molecular tribology, glass surface science, and biological materials. He published more than 320 papers and his h-index is 62.

Past Webinars:

Recorded webinars are available under the Resources Tab.

Tribocorrosion Aspects of Biomedical Implants: Where are we now?
Dr. Mathew Mathew, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

Electrical Contact and Lubrication
by: Dr. Robert Jackson, Auburn University

Mechanics-Enabled Simulation and Design of the Anode-Cathode Interface in Lithium Metal Batteries by: Q. Jane Wang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University

Dynamic Properties of Lubricants for Electric Vehicles
by: Dr. Hong Liang, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University

Wear mechanisms or the relations of microstructure and wear in metals
by: Dr .Stefanie Hanke, Researcher, Materials Science in Mechanical Engineering

Towards a Predictive Understanding of the Effect of Surface Topography on Surface Properties
by: Dr. Tevis D. B. Jacobs

Atomistic simulation for tribological applications
by: Ashlie Martini

Honors & Awards

Recognition of outstanding achievement in engineering is one of the major objectives of ASME. Through its programs of honors and awards, ASME recognizes outstanding contributions to the art and science of engineering.

Society Awards

  • Mayo D. Hersey Award
    Award is bestowed on an individual in recognition of distinguished and continued contributions over a substantial period of time to the advancement of the science and engineering of tribology.
  • Burt L. Newkirk Award
    It is given to one who has made a notable contribution to the field of tribology in research or development as evidenced by important tribology publications.
  • Marshall B. Peterson Award
    The Marshall P. Peterson Award is given biennially in recognition of an early-career achievement and promise for pursuit of research in tribology.

Division Awards

Other awards distributed at the Tribology conference are:

  • Conference Chair's Plaque
  • Certificates of Appreciation
  • Chair, Content Management Technical Committee Plaque
  • Keynote Speaker's Plaque
  • Executive Committee Past Chair's Plaque
  • Tribology Division Best Reviewers Certificates

Other Honors and Awards of Interest

  • Dedicated Service Award
    Award honors dedicated voluntary service to the Society marked by outstanding performance, demonstrated effective leadership, prolonged and committed service, devotion, enthusiasm and faithfulness.
  • Archimedes Club
    Leverage the future of the mechanical engineering profession with a planned gift and become a member of the Archimedes Club.

Important Award Information For Recipients of Monetary Awards

Please note that honorariums cannot be distributed without receipt of applicable tax forms. If you are a recipient of a monetary award, you will be contacted by ASME staff regarding tax forms you will need to complete, as well as how to submit them to us.


Chair, Bharat Bhushan
July 01, 2021 - June 30, 2022

Vice Chair, Farshid Sadeghi, PHD
July 01, 2021 - June 30, 2022

Secretary, Sriram Sundararajan, Ph.D.
July 01, 2021 - June 30, 2022

Member, Min Zou
July 01, 2021 - June 30, 2022

Member, Tevis D. Jacobs
July 01, 2021 - June 30, 2022
Member, Mr. Nick Weinzapfel
July 01, 2021 - June 30, 2022

Communications & Outreach, Stefanie Hanke
July 01, 2021 - June 30, 2026

Special Assignment, Farshid Sadeghi, PHD
July 01, 2019 - June 30, 2022


Links to helpful online resources related to the division are below. If you have suggestions for other resources, please contact the division chair or ASME staff.

  • ASME Landmarks Program
    Landmarks, sites and collections of historic importance to mechanical engineering are designated by ASME through its History and Heritage Landmarks Program.
  • ASME History and Heritage
    ASME fosters the preservation of mechanical engineering innovations used in a wide range of applications through its History and Heritage program.

Other Links of Interest

U.S. Based Organizations

U.S. Government Agencies and Departments




We are committed to organizing education in mechanical engineering surrounding Tribology technical areas. Below is the latest event sponsored by the division. This kicks off our webinar series.

Lessons from Nature: Bioinspired Mechanically Durable and Self-healing Superliquiphilic/phobic Surfaces
By: Dr. Bharat Bhushan, Tribology Division Chair
Tribology TEC Talk  (video viewable by ASME members only)
Tribology TEC Talk Slides


Tribocorrosion Aspects of Biomedical Implants: Where are we now?
by: Dr. Mathew Mathew, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

Metal-based implant devices have become increasingly prevalent due to their ability to restore the physical function of patients with disability. However, this growth has proportionally resulted in an increase in implant failures due to wear and corrosion (tribocorrosion), with recent data reporting infection as its primary cause. The clinical reports on the peri-implantitis (dentistry) and peri-prosthetic infections (orthopedics) are very common. Despite recent studies on implant failure, there is a lack of research regarding the cellular response to an inflammatory/infectious environment when exposed to metal ions released from implants. Additionally, our recent study demonstrated that the body’s immune response to infection, specifically the release of macrophages, might accelerate implant corrosion. Therefore, this lecture will address basic of tribocorrosion aspects of implants and the effect of infectious and inflammatory conditions on the cellular viability of osteoblast cells and corrosion aspects of the implants under macrophages challenged by these conditions. The talk will also include some future research directions to minimize the risk associated with implant failures.

Electrical Contact and Lubrication
Dr. Robert Jackson, Auburn University

In many devices or applications, such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and mobile devices, electrical contacts are exposed to vibrations or sliding conditions. Under these conditions, contacts are prone to arc erosion and fretting-based degradation. Typical metallic electrical contacts induce added resistance due to the roughness-reduced contact area and surface contamination (electrical contact resistance). Thus, lubricants are often employed in such contacts to reduce sliding wear and fretting corrosion. However, due to the non-conductive properties of the typical lubricants this can lead to additional resistance and arcing. The fluid dynamics upon excitation, vibration or sliding causes extended breaks or gaps in between the conducting surfaces.
This presentation will cover some of the fundamental theories of electrical contacts and examine current issues in electric vehicles and possible solutions. First, a coupled structural-fluid theoretical model is developed for evaluating such intermittent contact breaks/gaps when two lubricated metallic rough surfaces are in contact. Next, the results of electrical contact experiments for different lubricants, including silver nanoparticle additives, are presented. Some lubricants appears to stabilize contact resistance and reduce arc erosion or pitting, while others do not.

Wear mechanisms or the relations of microstructure and wear in metals
by: Dr. Stefanie Hanke, Tribology Division Secretary

The wear resistance of metals and alloys can be partially related to their bulk properties, e.g. oftentimes a high hardness yields lower wear rates. Still, such correlations do not always hold. One major influencing factor is the microstructure, which can be modified to improve the resistance of surface material during manufacturing, e.g. regarding grain size or phase transformations. Further, the tribological load itself induces microstructural changes. Whether such changes increase the load capacity depends on the nature of the tribological load and the acting wear mechanisms. This talk will introduce different wear mechanisms and their variants on different materials. The materials’ properties decisive for the resistance against each mechanism will be discussed. Examples for applications under cavitation erosion and sliding wear are presented.

Towards a Predictive Understanding of the Effect of Surface Topography on Surface Properties
By: Tevis D. B. Jacobs

Surface topography has a critical impact on surface function – including adhesion, friction, hydrophobicity, biological response, and electrical and thermal transport properties. While many models have been proposed to quantify this impact, most real-world efforts to test and implement these models have been inconclusive. This webinar will discuss why such efforts typically fail, and how we can better understand and control the topography-dependent properties of manufactured surfaces.

Nature’s Multiscale Design and Smart Manufacturing of Materials
By: Xiaodong (Chris) Li

Recent discoveries in seashells unveil that nature uses multiscale design strategies to achieve exceptional mechanical and tribological properties which are still beyond the reach of many engineering materials. The multiscale hierarchical structure, ranging from micro lamellae down to nanoparticles, renders seashells multilevel strengthening and toughening mechanisms such as crack deflection, interlocking, lamellae’s deformability, biopolymer’s viscosity, nanoparticle rotation, deformation twining in nanoparticles, and amorphization, jointly contributing to seashell’s ultra-high mechanical robustness. Graphene is a game changing material. We cloned seashell’s hierarchical architecture and realized its reinforcing mechanisms in engineered materials by simply shear mixing, freeze drying, and sintering of metal powders and graphene sheets. Such man-made seashell-like graphene/metal composites achieved an exceptional enhancement in both strength and toughness. Such design strategy and model material system should guide the manufacturing of bioinspired materials to achieve exceptionally high mechanical and tribological performance.

Molecular dynamics simulations: What are they and why tribologists should care
By: Dr. Ashlie Martini

Most tribologists have heard the term molecular dynamics simulations or seen movies of colorful atoms flying around in a presentation. However, the connections between these movies and practical challenges in friction, wear, and lubrication are often harder to understand. Molecular dynamics simulations have grown from simple models of gaseous argon atoms to incredibly complex models that capture the formation and breaking of chemical bonds between lubricants and surfaces. In parallel, the simulations are evolving from a means of scientific exploration to an engineering design tool. This presentation is an engineer’s perspective on molecular dynamics simulations, with emphasis on recent advancements that are directly relevant to tribological applications. As with any tool, the simulations have strengths and weaknesses, which will be identified and discussed. Finally, the presentation will describe contributions that molecular dynamics simulations might make to the next major achievements in our field.

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