The Government of Japan honours Professor H Peter Jost, CBE


1 July 2011



On 1 July 2011, Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi bestowed the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon upon Professor H Peter Jost, President of the International Tribology Council, for his outstanding contribution over many years to the promotion of relations in the field of tribology between Japan and the United Kingdom. Professor Jost, from London, is 90 years old.

Tribology, defined as "the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and of related subjects and practices," is a field of engineering that deals with friction, wear and lubrication. It is embraced in many cutting-edge technological products in Japan, having made it possible to boost the efficiency and reliability of automobiles, bullet trains, airplanes, computer hard disks and space rockets.

Professor Jost with Ambassador Hayashi


Professor Jost is credited as being the conceptual founding father of tribology, a field addressed in the Jost Report, a British Government document published in 1966. This report highlighted the economic value of tribology by focusing on the better application of tribological principles and practices. Professor Jost has also tirelessly encouraged the development of tribology all over the world.

He contributed to the growth of tribology in Japan's scientific community. He also greatly encouraged Japanese industry to utilise tribology. In 1973 he formed a global body, the International Tribology Council (ITC), to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration among tribology societies worldwide. He invited the Japanese Society of Lubrication (JSL), renamed the Japanese Society of Tribologists (JAST) in 1992, to join the ITC from its inception, and the Society's membership has provided a robust base for giving its achievements in Japan an international dimension. He also gave impressive speeches directly to Japanese scientists and engineers twice in Japan, in 1975 and 1991, which strongly motivated them to pursue scientific and technological research in tribology.


His groundbreaking estimate of the savings obtainable from a knowledge of tribology captured the attention of Japanese industrialists regarding the utilisation of tribology for industrial products. It also inspired Japanese industrialists to collaborate eagerly with academia in Japan. This eagerness was based on their recognition of the high level of Japanese academic research in this area, which is illustrated by the fact that five Japanese scientists have been awarded the Tribology Gold Medal, often referred to as tribology's Nobel Prize.

Professor Jost contributed to the great success of the 4th World Tribology Congress (WTC IV) held in Kyoto in 2009, organised by JAST and the Science Council of Japan. Thanks to his efforts, as many as 1546 people attended the Congress and nearly 850 research papers were presented. The success of WTC IV was an achievement that convinced participants at home and abroad of Japan's scientific and technological strength in tribology.


Prof. Jost with Ambassador and Madame Hayashi, family and close friends

In his speech, Ambassador Hayashi stated: "Throughout his life, Professor Jost has contributed to expansion and innovation in the area of tribology, which Japanese academia and industry have been able to take to a new level. Japan now enjoys an excellent reputation for its competitive advantage in high-tech industry, all thanks to the outstanding contribution by Professor Jost."

Upon receiving his decoration, Professor Jost responded: "In tribology, the scientific and technological relationship between our two countries has always been close." He added: "My estimate is that, through the application of tribology, Japan may have already saved up to an estimated 0.9% of its GDP." He pointed out the importance of scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries, saying:"I am looking forward to the continued co-operation of the British and Japanese scientists and technologists, not only for the benefit of our two countries but for the world at large."



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