The GfT TriboSlam – be part of it this year!


Is Tribology boring? Can’t a scientific conference be fun? Absolutely, yes!

In 2023, the GfT Tribology Conference proved once again how much fun tribology is and how exciting research can be. The new format of science communication is derived from so-called science slams* [1] and is named TriboSlam. The TriboSlam aims to offer conference participants the opportunity to present their tribology research or exciting tribological observations from everyday life in a short and entertaining way, without compromising the content [2]. The slammers have 360 seconds to entertain the audience with humour, fun and originality. The advantages of such a format are clear: the slammers have a good opportunity to gain experience in communicating their own research and to improve their own presentation skills [3]. While enjoying a glass of beer or a glass of wine, the audience learns about important scientific topics in an entertaining way, as the slammers must try to inspire the audience with the knowledge that they themselves have worked hard to acquire over many hours [2].

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Figure 1. TriboSlam 2022.

The first round of the TriboSlam took place in 2022 (see Figure 1). From beer lubrication, preventative measures for reproduction, classic fairy tales, communication problems, daily care routines, chivalrous material interpretation, skin care risks and the creation of the “Golden Mic” award, there were many tribological highlights on offer. After the kick-off in the first year, the success story of the TriboSlam continued. Niklas Bauer, who was the winner of the first TriboSlam with his entry “Alles dicht oder was?”**, replaced moderators Patrick Beau, Stephan Henzler and Mirco Kröll in 2023 (see Figure 2). The following year, the slammers competed with topics ranging from shoe lacing and animal tribology to “Schmiergeld”*** and sealing technology to a tribological song (see Figure 3). Ratings were based as in the year before on the volume of applause from the audience. In the end, the winner was Victoria Schröder with her presentation “Dichtung und Wahrheit – die Schröder’sche Hypothese“****. Victoria van Camp and Roland Larsson from the University of Lulea took part out of competition, who – in the true tradition of the Eurovision Song Contest (Lulea Calling) or as an outside bet (Thomas Gottschalk “Wetten, dass…?”) depending on your point of view – were switched on online from Sweden.


Of course, all of this is much different from the seriousness of the scientific talks that are usually being given at conferences. But for GfT, this venture has paid off! The participants and the audience were enthusiastic about the new format of tribology communication every year. The commitment of the participants, their creativity, but also their conviction to believe in this format, made the opening evening of the conference a complete success. This means that the TriboSlam will hopefully remain in the tribological world for a very long time to come.

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Figure 2. TriboSlam 2023

For the organisation, special thanks go to Mirjam Bäse and Irene Kollenbrandt, whose tireless efforts behind the scenes have made the TriboSlams the success they are today.

The presentations are available on the YouTube channel of the Gesellschaft für Tribologie e.V. and thus safely preserved for posterity. In this way, in addition to the tribological specialist audience, people from outside the field can also gain an exclusive and understandable insight into tribology. This way, the association contributes to reaching people who are confronted with tribological issues, but do not know that tribology offers solutions for them.


Figure 3. The famous “Tribosung”.

Feel free to take a look at our YouTube channel. The corresponding QR codes can be found on the flyer shown (see Figure 4). And if you have acquired a taste for it, then we cordially invite you to take part in this year’s 65th Tribology Conference! Become part of the new and at the same time long standing tradition of GfT: curiosity, fun and passion for tribology!

Figure 4. Flyer TriboSlam 2024, are going to miss it?

Authors: Niklas Bauer, Victoria Schröder, Stephan Henzler, Patrick Beau, Mirco Kröll, Mirjam Bäse

* A science slam is a short scientific presentation tournament in which scientists present their research topics to an audience within a set time limit. The focus is on the popular scientific communication of scientific content; the evaluation is carried out by the audience. In addition to the scientific content, the comprehensibility and entertainment value of the presentation are also assessed.

** A German expression with a double meaning. The phrase can mean: “Are you still in your right mind or what?” or “Everything sealed or what?”

*** A German play on words that combines the words lubrication and money and means something like bribe money.

**** In German, the same word is used for the word Poetry and the word shaft seal. Poetry/Sealing and truth – the Schröder hypothesis. In addition, “Dichtung und Wahrheit” is the title of an autobiography of the famous German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

[1], visited 03.03.2024

[2], visited 03.03.2024

[3], visited 03.03.2024

Administration of the project

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