Professor Peter Jost


Professor Peter Jost

It is with deep regret that we inform our readers of the recent death of Professor H Peter Jost CBE. Peter died peacefully on 7 June 2016 at the age of 95 years after a short battle with illness.

Professor Jost was generally regarded as the Founding Father of Tribology. He chaired a British Government Report (set up by Lord Bowden of Chesterfield) into the heavy financial losses being incurred by many industries due to breakdown in plant and machinery. The report, now commonly known as the ‘Jost Report’, was published on 9
March 1966, and the word Tribology entered the public domain. Tribology is now a fundamental branch of Engineering that pervades every industrial country and university throughout the world.

Hans Peter Jost was born in Berlin on 25 January 1921 and educated at Liverpool Technical College and
Manchester College of Technology. He began his career as an apprentice at Associated Metal Works, Glasgow, and Napier and Sons in Liverpool, winning the Sir John Larking Medal for a paper on Measurement of Surface Finish. These important stepping stones led him to become, at the early age of 29 years, the General Manager and then Director of international lubricants firm Trier Bros in London, for whom he developed an innovative steam machinery
lubrication method which saved energy and water by preventing scaling of boiler tubes. By 1960, he had
become lubrication consultant to Richard Thomas and Baldwins. He went on to serve as a director and chairman of several technology and engineering companies including the solid lubricants company KS Paul, and Engineering & General Equipment.

He was appointed to the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee of which he was Vice President and Life Member. He was President of the International Tribology Council, Vice President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and also an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institution of Mechanical
Engineers and of the Institute of Materials.

In addition to his appointment as a Commander of the British Empire in 1969, he also received state honours
from the Heads of State of France, Germany, Poland, and Austria. In 2011, the Order of the Rising Sun was conferred upon him by the Emperor of Japan. He held 2 honorary professorships and 11 honorary doctorates including, in January 2000, the first Millennium honorary science doctorate. He has received professional awards and honours in 15 countries.

Peter was a person of enormous energy, passion, and determination. Those of us who met him will remember his charm, his warmth, and wonderfully mischievous sense of humour. He has been a driving force in the Tribology community and that community will miss him deeply.

He leaves a wife, two daughters, and three grandchildren.