Mechanical engineering professor selected as editor of prestigious tribology journal

Published: Feb 13, 2024 2:00 PM

By Jeremy Henderson

An Auburn Engineering faculty member is the new editor of a pretty slick publication.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)'s Tribology Division recently tapped Rob Jackson, Albert Smith Jr. Professor of mechanical engineering, to helm its prestigious Journal of Tribology.

"I'm honored that my peers in the ASME Tribology Division deemed me up to the task," Jackson said; given his preeminence in the discipline, which is essentially the science of lubrication, friction and wear, they had good reason to.

In 2018, Jackson joined an elite group of 179 engineers and scientists from around the world as a Fellow of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). Four years later, he achieved ASME fellow status, a prestigious title awarded to an ASME member with 10 or more years of active practice and corporate membership who has demonstrated outstanding engineering achievements.

In 2021, the National Lubricating Grease Institute honored Jackson with the Ralph Beard Memorial Academic Award, which is given to candidates who have contributed “valuable work in the technical development of greases, grease tests or the promotion of grease usage.”

Jackson expects his new role to serve as a platform to contribute and especially promote even more valuable tribological work.

"The ASME Journal of Tribology is well-established and known in the field as a selective publication that provides an outlet for the best tribology theoretical and experimental research, but as editor I’d like to increase its presence in the community, especially at conferences."

Thanks to advancing technology, that won't come without new challenges.

"Artificial intelligence (AI) and other questionable resources have become a concern in terms of authorship, and we need to apply some extra scrutiny to papers that are submitted," Jackson said. "Although there is research on using AI as a tool in research, and that is encouraged, ASME does not currently allow for AI to assist in writing. That said, I also want to provide authors with a fair and open-minded review process. Sometimes the most groundbreaking research can appear different or disagree with established concepts."

And Jackson feels that research is more important than ever.

"Tribology continues to be critical for almost every industry and needs to be championed," he said. "For instance, tribology is an integral part of sustainability as it allows industry to operate more efficiently and with less waste. It is also crucial for expanding technologies such as electric vehicles and biomedical engineering which my colleague, Prof. Kyle Schulze is pursuing. I hope to help promote the research published in the journal to let the public know more about its importance."

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334-844-3591
Rob Jackson

Rob Jackson

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