The President's Message

Statement to our Overseas Colleagues from the President of the Japanese Society of Tribologists

Takashi NAKAMURA (Nagoya Institute of Technology)
62nd Term President of Japanese Society of Tribologists

I am honored and feel a great sense of responsibility in assuming the duties of the 62nd President of Japanese Society of Tribologists (JAST) from May 2017. As I stated at the General Meeting, I would greatly appreciate the utmost cooperation from JAST members.

Dr. Shirou Nakano, the former President, expended much effort toward reforming JAST by drawing on his corporate experience and realized many achievements, including improved rules and regulations and the reorganization of committees. Among his many achievements, let me introduce the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) approach. From the 61st presidency, each committee developed plans to solve problems and dedicated itself to steadily implementing them, starting from the most feasible plans. For example, the Editorial/Publishing Committee promoted a reform to drastically shorten the time from paper submission to publication. During the 62nd presidency, we should further promote the “do” and “check” processes. At national universities, the PDCA approach has been adopted in midterm plans and, according to documents at least, activities related to the PDCA approach are apparently progressing. However, in fact, only feasible plans have been developed and reports including a number of these plans have been prepared. This is only the first cycle of the PDCA process and the PDCA spiral has not yet been established. Forming a PDCA spiral will generate more work and cannot be realized under the current situation. Even though the total budget allocated for universities is decreasing, the work at universities continues to be turf-minded and bureaucratic. Therefore, forming a PDCA spiral is unpopular among bureaucratic organizations because it requires considerable labor and cost; once these are increased for one project, those for another project are inevitably decreased. Our society is not a bureaucratic organization; it is a gathering of members interested in tribology. Owing to the increasing number of members, the budget and labor available are increasing. Societies with members interested in their topic should be efficient, vigorous, and enjoyable. To realize such a society, we need to implement a reform that may initially be painful. Some members might expect the ongoing PDCA approach to stop in my presidency; however, my intention is the opposite.

As the President, I intend to increase the number of members, improve the services for members, create a stage for young researchers, and strengthen the international presence of JAST. Increasing the number of members is important; furthermore, the new members should be satisfied with the services of JAST. One of my proposals for improving the services for members includes the establishment of a “tribo-promoting arena” during tribology conferences. The reason for removing the “logy” from “tribology” is to express the idea that conventional customs can be disregarded. Members can post an A4 sheet proclaiming “I have this idea. Let’s carry out an experiment together” or “I have obtained interesting results” on a board. I will also support the activities of young researchers. The society will be active only when young researchers play an active role; if this is realized, the workload of senior members can be reduced. It is also high time to establish the international presence of JAST. Tribology Online (http://www.tribology.jp/trol/index.html) can be used to realize this.

I think the ideal JAST is a forum that members can utilize and where they can play an active role and enjoy. We welcome submissions of papers to the newly established technical paper section of Tribologist from researchers not only from universities but also from companies, so that they can advertise the technology and products they have developed. The Sustainable Tribology Conference 2017 will be held in Amami this year and we are planning a conference that can be enjoyed by all members.

Finally, I greatly appreciate the support of the board members and JAST members during the forthcoming presidency.