20 MinuTeS WiTh… Richard Butler By Karl M. Phipps / Managing Editor This Certifi ed Metalworking Fluids Specialist explains the role of MWFs and spectroscopic instrumentation used in the condition monitoring of ﬂ uids. Richard Butler The Quick File: Work experience Rick Butler has more than 30 years in the industrial lubricants business. Currently he serves as technical manager for metalworking at Chem-tool Inc., in Rockton, Ill. (outside of Chicago). He has worked primarily as a formulator of metalworking coolants and stamping lubricants throughout most of his career. His technical interests are rust preventive coatings, cleaners, gear oils, liquid gaskets, die-cast release agents, quenchants and biobased lubricants. Previously, Rick worked as an analytical chemist for Fuchs Lubricants with an interest in developing analytical methods for infrared microscopy and chemometrics, X-ray fl uorescence and UV-visible spectros-copy, GC/MS and HPLC chromatogra-phy. In addition, he held positions as a facility manager for the North American Chemical Co. in Dallas and Newridge Chemical in Bedford Park, Ill., and Pillsbury Chemical and Oil. He’s the father of two college students and enjoys racing sailboats and mountain bicycling. education Bachelor’s of Science, Chemistry – Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., 1981 Industry Affi liations and Professional Achievements • STLE member (since 1983) • STLE Certifi ed Metalworking Fluids Specialist • Chair, STLE Metalworking Fluids Technical Committee (2011-2012) • Vice Chair, STLE Condition Monitoring Technical Committee (2011-2012) • STLE Metalworking Fluids Educa-tion Committee • Member, STLE Chicago and Central Illinois Local Sections (has also presented several technical presentations at the local and national levels) • Member, Chicago Chromatography Discussion Group, 1995-2005 • President, Society of Applied Spectroscopy (Chicago Section), 2000-2003 • Member, MCM-MSDG (Madison-Chicago-Milwaukee – Mass Spectrometry Discussion Group), 1996-2001 TLT: Why did you choose to work in the lubricants industry? butler: After graduating from Michigan State, I was interested in working in the automotive industry in the Detroit area. I wanted to combine my educa-tion in chemistry with practical expe-riences in the engineering fi eld. My fi rst job at Pillsbury Chemical and Oil got me hooked. Soon after starting, I was involved in major troubleshooting calls at both transmission and automo-bile stamping plants. I soon realized that this could be an interesting career that has an endless variety of challenges without becoming routine and boring. TLT: What mentors have had the most infl uence on your career? butler: My mentor at Pillsbury was Harris Vahle, who never shrunk away from problems and was interested in teaching young people about the lubri-cants business. Harris always encour-aged me to keep at it and never give up until you solved the problem. Most industrial lubrication problems really boil down to communication diffi cul-ties between engineers and chemists. 16 Want to become an STLE Featured Member? Tell us your story and connect with your peers. Details at www.stle.org .