Tribology and Design 2012

4th International Conference on Tribology and Design 2012


3 - 5 September 2012
Kos, Greece



The fourth International Conference on Tribology and Design 2012 was held on the island of Kos, organised by the University of Bournemouth, represented by Professor Mark Hadfield and the Wessex Institute of Technology, represented by Professor Carlos A Brebbia, both of the UK.

The meeting originated at Bournemouth University held in 2005 and 2007, followed by a third conference in 2010 which took place in the Algarve, Portugal.

The conference explored the role of technology and design in the broader sense in an effort to bring together colleagues from different disciplines interested in problems of surface interaction and design. The range of topics embraced all aspects of concern including reliability, energy conditions, advanced materials and corrosion. It has been essential for designers to consider product and system durability in relation to reliability and sustainability issues.

Tribology problems are essentially interdisciplinary. The conference provided a forum for discussion amongst scientists, academics and professionals working in different aspects of tribology.

The meeting was opened by Carlos who explained the importance of the conference programme for the work of the Wessex Institute, whose objectives are the dissemination of knowledge. WIT conference programme consists now of 25 meetings in many different cities, most of them connected with other Institutions, with recognised research centres, such as Bournemouth University – in this case.

Carlos referred to the importance of the publications of WIT Press, the publishing arm of the Institute. The Transactions of Wessex Institute which contains the papers presented at WIT conferences are now widely recognised throughout the world (see Papers are referenced by CrossRef and regularly appear in notable reviews, publications and datebases, including referencing and abstract series such as Scopus, Compendex, ISI Web of Knowledge, Index to Scientific and Technical Proceedings amongst others.

Delegates at the conference
Furthermore presenting authors are encouraged to submit extended versions of their conference contributions for publication in one of the WIT International Journals. In the case of this conference – Carlos said – the most appropriate would be the International Journal of Computational Methods and Experimental Measurements.

Carlos ended by explaining other activities of the Wessex Institute, including the organisation of courses and training in his New Forest Campus, where there are accommodation facilities for students and families. The latest developments on Campus have been the building of an indoor swimming pool and other leisure facilities in an effort to continue to improve the quality of life of residents and staff.

 Keynote Address

Mark Hadfield
Mark Hadfield
The technical programme started with the Keynote address by Mark Hadfield, the Co-Chairman of the Conference, entitled ‘Sustainable Design and Tribology at Bournemouth University’. He described the support his group receives for their research. Mark referred to current design trends, the economic benefits of tribology research and the importance of sustainable design in tribology.

Mark went over the developments of new materials for tribology over the years. He referred to the advances made in ceramics, including their use in bioengineering.

The work at Bournemouth University also focusses on problems related to the presence of cracks and how to control them particularly in ceramics which can lead to serious stress concentration. A recently investigated problem is the case of cavitation in ceramics which is due to bubbles being created in the lubricant. This produces pitting of the surface which damages ceramic bearings.

Mark mentioned the collaboration of his group with industry and also with organisations as diverse as the Tank Museum in Bovington and the Royal Life Boats organisation, which presents different types of challenges to the researchers.

 Invited Presentations

The conference included a series of keynote addresses, ie

‘Residual stress and retained austenite in induction hardened ductile iron camshafts’

by D Northwood, University of Windsor, Canada

‘Effect of misalignment on rod lip seal behaviour’

by M Conte, Tekniker, Spain

‘Influence of thermal shear localization on elastohydrodynamic contacts’

by R Guilbault, University of Quebec, Canada

The other presentations dealt with a variety of topics such as Design Tools, Test Methods, Surface Engineering, Advances in Lubrication, Wear Mechanics, Tribology in Biomechanics, Advanced Materials and others.


Delegates on Excursion
The Conference gave the participants numerous occasions for interaction and discussions, outside as well as during the formal sessions. The delegates were offered complimentary lunches and two interesting site excursions.

The first excursion took them to sites of interest in the interior of the island, including visiting a winery where some of the excellent island wines are produced. There they had occasion to test a variety of them, accompanied by some snacks. From there they proceeded to a small port where they took a boat trip to a secluded beach. They had the occasion of swimming in the sea followed by a BBQ. The event was most informal and friendly and relaxing. They returned to the hotel in the evening.

At the end of the conference, the delegates were offered a complimentary visit to the renowned Aesklepion, the place where the remarkable well preserved ruins of the first Hypocrates Sanatorium can be seen. They were shown around by a professional tour guide, who explained the function of the different parts of the Sanatorium complex. It gave all participants the chance of becoming better known with each other.

 ISAC & Conference Dinners

Conference Dinner
ISAC Dinner

The International Scientific Advisory Committee met over dinner to discuss the meeting and how it can be improved in the future. The participants put forward a series of new topics related to current research. Several possible locations were considered for the next meeting, they need to be investigated by WIT Conference Division.

The Conference banquet took place in a traditional restaurant, located in a picturesque mountain villa from the terrace of which it was possible to appreciate the sunset.

The menu included some local specialities and in particular the oven baked meats for which the restaurant is renowned. The food was accompanied by good local wines and the dinner ended with sweets and a glass of raki.

During the meal a group performed island dances and persuaded some of the most energetic delegates to join them, contributing to the enjoyment of the occasion.

 Closing of the conference

The conference is to be reconvened in a place and at a date to be decided.  

An associated conference is Surface and Contact, which is to be held in Siena, Italy from 5 - 7 June 2013 (see 

 Conference Proceedings

The proceedings of Tribology, 220pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-610-3, eISBN 978-1-84564-611-0) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 76 of WIT Transactions on Engineering Sciences (ISSN: 1746-4471, Digital ISSN 1743-3533). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at