Vijaya Raghavan

Vijaya Raghavan

CSBE/SCGAB President 2016-2017
Thursday, 15 December 2016 10:42

Message from President Vijaya Raghavan

Vijaya Raghavan

Greetings to you all for this festive season as you are busily wrapping up your work and professional responsibilities for 2016.  It has been a hectic and enjoyable few months since the annual meeting that was held in Halifax, NS. The planning of the next annual meeting is well underway,and will be a joint meeting with the CIGR that will be held in Winnipeg, MB (August 6-10, 2017). The local arrangements committee under the leadership of Professor Danny Mann has already sent out a request for proposals and abstracts in various themes. Please refer to the recent newsletter or the CSBE website for more details (http://csbe-scgab.ca/winnipeg2017).

Furthermore, I am pleased to report to you the following information:

  • The Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) which represents the voices of the twelve discipline-based engineering societies (CSBE, CSCE, CSChE, CDA, CSEM, CGS, CMBES, CSME, CNS, CSSE, IEEE, and IISE) to the Government of Canada, has taken the key initiative to hold a conference on Sustainable Development in the North (Arctic), and members of the CSBE have volunteered to serve on the committee.
  • I met with representatives from the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) and Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE) who have expressed their interest in joining as international members of CSBE.
  • Many CSBE members participated in the Engineering and Technology Innovation for Global Food Security Conference held in October in Stellenbosch, South Africa, which was one of the key initiatives of ASABE.  
  • I attended the ASABE Board of Trustees meeting in November.   
  • I spoke to the student group at Halifax – DalTech in July. 
  • I spoke to the student group at Winnipeg – University of Manitoba in November.
  • I spoke to the student group at Saskatoon – University of Saskatchewan in December.

I am very encouraged by the interest of youngsters to take part in the activities of our society. In addition to the visits to Halifax, Winnipeg, and Saskatoon, I am in touch with our undergrad and graduate student groups here at McGill, and with the student groups of Laval University through Professor Cristina Ratti.  Furthermore, I am making efforts to contact student groups at Guelph, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island (PEI), Alberta and British Columbia. I have sent out invitation letters to both undergrad and graduate students at the above mentioned institutes.

Once again, I thank you for your support in revitalizing our society.  Please circulate the newsletter to your graduate and undergrad student bodies.

Happy Holidays!!! 

Vijaya Raghavan
President, CSBE/SCGAB


Salutations à tous en cette saison festive car vous achevez activement vos travaux et responsabilités professionnelles pour 2016. Cela fait quelques mois que la réunion annuelle qui s'est tenue à Halifax, en Nouvelle-Écosse, a eue lieu. La planification de la prochaine réunion annuelle, qui se tiendra à Winnipeg (Manitoba) du 6 au 10 août 2017, est en cours et sera organisé conjointement avec la CIGR. Le comité d’organisation, sous la direction du professeur Danny Mann, a déjà envoyé une demande de propositions et des résumés sur différents thèmes. Veuillez consulter l’annonce reçue par courriel ou notre site web pour plus de détails (http://csbe-scgab.ca/winnipeg2017).

En outre, je suis heureux de vous faire parvenir les informations suivantes:

  • L'Institut des ingénieurs du Canada (EIC), qui représente les voix des douze sociétés d'ingénierie disciplinaires (CSBE, CSCE, CSChE, CDA, CSEM, CGS, CMBES, CSME, CNS, CSSE, IEEE et IISE) auprès du gouvernement du Canada, a pris l'initiative clé de tenir une conférence sur le développement durable dans le Nord (Arctique), et les membres de la CSBE se sont portés volontaires pour siéger au comité.
  • J'ai rencontré des représentants de la Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) et de la Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE) qui ont exprimé leur intérêt à adhérer en tant que membres internationaux du CSBE.
  • De nombreux membres de la CSBE ont participé à la Engineering and Technology Innovation for Global Food Security Conference, qui s'est tenue en octobre à Stellenbosch, en Afrique du Sud, et qui a été l'une des principales initiatives de l'ASABE.
  • J'ai assisté à la réunion du conseil d'administration de l’ASABE en novembre.
  • J'ai parlé au groupe étudiant à Halifax - DalTech en juillet.
  • J'ai parlé au groupe étudiant à Winnipeg - Université du Manitoba en novembre.
  • J'ai parlé au groupe étudiant à Saskatoon - University of Saskatchewan en décembre.

Je suis très encouragé par l'intérêt des jeunes à prendre part aux activités de notre société. En plus des visites à Halifax, à Winnipeg et à Saskatoon, je suis en contact avec nos groupes d'étudiants de premier et de deuxième cycle à McGill et avec les groupes d'étudiants de l'Université Laval par l'entremise de la professeure Cristina Ratti. De plus, je m'efforce de communiquer avec des groupes d'étudiants à Guelph, à Terre-Neuve, à l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard (PEI), en Alberta et en Colombie-Britannique. J'ai envoyé des lettres d'invitation à la fois aux étudiants de premier cycle et aux étudiants diplômés des instituts susmentionnés.

Encore une fois, je vous remercie de votre soutien à la revitalisation de notre société. Veuillez faire circuler le bulletin d'information à vos étudiants et étudiantes de premier cycle.

Bonnes vacances!!!

Vijaya Raghavan
Président, CSBE / SCGAB

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:43

Message from President Vijaya Raghavan

Vijaya RaghavanBonjour!!  Greetings!!

It is time to reflect on the past, take stock of the present and gaze into the crystal ball for the future …

As of September 2, 2016, it has been exactly 47 years and eight months to the day since I have come to Canada.  My journey during this period has taught me to realize the importance of learning and to be connected to nature in a multi-disciplinary framework.  Thanks to all my gurus (teachers), colleagues, and shishyas (students) who have taught me humility and wisdom in life.  I am in a milieu of smart people called bioengineers who can make a big difference not only in addressing current challenges but also for the future where the global population is heading towards over ten billion people in the next two to three decades.  Canada being an exporter of various agricultural commodities has a lot to offer not only in agriculture but in many other areas as well.  Sustainable development goals are key in all walks of life including our food/ energy/ environment system nexus.  The CSBE and its members are very well-positioned to play a role in meeting these challenges. 

The agricultural sector in Canada has gone through dire straits over the last few decades due to changes in the role of agriculture in Canadian society, and in the perception of the role of engineers in this field.  Similarly, the CSBE has been adapting to these changes seeking renewal in order to be a sustainable entity.  As the saying goes “Charity begins at home”, i.e. we have to sustain ourselves first. Let me share our experience at McGill wherein the degree offered by our undergraduate program was transformed in 2004 from a B.Sc. (Agr. Eng.) to a B.Eng. (Bioresource). The name of the department has undergone several changes: from “Agricultural Engineering” to “Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering” in 1995, and on to “Bioresource Engineering” in 2002, as it is known today. This along with changes in our curriculum to expand beyond the classical core agricultural engineering have helped us to attract many more undergraduates to our program. The number currently stands at around 220. Changes were also done at Université Laval which has programs in génie agroalimentaire, génie agroenvironmental and génie alimentaire that are attracting a good number of undergrads. A similar initiative was taken at the University of Manitoba’s Department of Biosystems Engineering where undergraduate student enrolment is high. At the University of Guelph, the School of Engineering has several programs including a Biological Engineering program which attract high numbers of undergraduate students. Given this scenario, how do we initiate a change in other campuses across Canada?? I wish to re-kindle this thought in the minds of our colleagues to consider this challenge to demonstrate the relevance of bioengineering programs in educating and training future generations of engineers in sustainable agriculture, food production and bioprocessing, and the environment.