March 07, 2007

Researcher helping plan international conference

by Tim Crosby

peter filip

Peter Filip

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A researcher at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will help organize and give a lecture at a leading international conference on material wear science.

Organizers selected Peter Filip, director of the SIUC Center for Advanced Friction Studies, to serve on the steering committee for the 16th International Conference on Wear of Materials. The conference is set for April 15-19 in Montreal.

Recognized as the largest such conference in the world, the event convenes just once every two years and focuses on friction and wear of materials under various circumstances and within different applications. International delegates will share the latest research and speakers will address topics such as surface engineering and lubricated wear.

Filip, whose expertise and research interests include friction and wear testing procedures for composite materials and advance tooling materials with intermetallic matrices, will give one of only four invited lectures on the structure and properties of brake materials.

"This plays off the research we do here at the center and I'm very pleased and honored," said Filip, who became the center's director in 2003.

The Center for Advanced Friction Studies, part of the College of Engineering at SIUC, focuses on educating undergraduate and graduate students in the science of friction materials. Created with a National Science Foundation grant in 1996, the center works closely with industry on research programs, development and results analysis.

Filip said the center's work on improving brake materials could save energy by making the materials lighter. Most normal driving vehicles have brake materials that weigh an average of 4 pounds. Filip said research is paving the way to make brakes weigh just 1 pound.

"Every pound counts these days," he said. "Our center is a world leader in understanding the mechanisms involved in braking materials."

Research at the center also is improving brake safety and is addressing environmental and health concerns caused by the release of dust from brakes.