I believe that CSBE student organizations have become complacent. This is emphasized in the continuing decline in student membership, retention of student members post-graduation, and the diminishing of bioengineering programs across Canada. At the University of Manitoba, the CSBE Student Chapter realizes that our future success in industry and academia depends upon our ability to eliminate two essential stigmas that have been ignored in our complacency. The first is the ever persistent “what is bioengineering?” that hits students at almost every career fair, and industry interview we attended. The second is a perspective held by some prospective engineering candidates and prospective CSBE recruits. This perspective is that bioengineering is only a second choice engineering department.
To tackle these perspective the team at the University of Manitoba has worked diligently with full fledge CSBE members to pave the way to a revitalized student group. Our objective is to help bioengineering student’s transition from academia into industry and to promote long term membership with CSBE. To achieve these objectives we have set our sights on developing and maintaining mentorship programs, e-portfolios, and intensive industry relevant workshops. I will briefly highlight what we propose in each of these domains.
Mentoring, as we see it, is a chance to allow industry to develop lasting ties with students at the University of Manitoba and to afford practising engineers the opportunity to earn professional development credits. It is also a means for us to continue our affiliation with CSBE upon our own graduation.
The development E-portfolios can supplement our student body’s ability to succeed by highlight work experience, academic achievements, and co-curricular activities. Many of us complete rewarding work over a term and would benefit from an opportunity to share these experiences with colleagues, employers and mentors.
The goal for intensive industry workshops is twofold. First, we aim to use the many resources at the University of Manitoba to fortify skills essential to engineering. These can include technical skills in circuit design, welding, machining, microscopy as well as professional development workshops and maybe even a speaker’s series devoted to research accomplished by professionals at the University of Manitoba. The second goal is to open up these workshops to industry to serve as professional development credits and an opportunity for industry to network with students and professors.
I’d like to end this perspective with a glance of the ground we have gained so far. In this past year, we have developed a brand new student constitution, fortified our connections with our academic partners at the University of McGill and with full fledged members of CSBE, and helped developed speaker gifts for this year’s CSBE conference. These efforts have allowed us to generate proposals which will, hopefully, allow us to bring students from McGill to the CSBE conference in Winnipeg this summer and have allowed us to contribute meaningfully to the society at large. These goals and accomplishments highlight how we have been working together to end the complacency that afflicts CSBE Student groups.
CSBE – University of Manitoba
La réunion de la section Québec de la CSBE a eu lieu dimanche le 5 Mars 2017 au Domaine Maizerets (ville de Québec) de 10:00 à 13:30.
La première partie de cette réunion était dediée à célebrer le parcous scientifique et academique du Dr Khaled Belkacemi, professeur au Département des sols et de génie agroalimentaire de l’Université Laval, qui est decédé tragiquement le 29 Janvier 2017. Le Dr Khaled Belkacemi était un chercheur actif dans la transformation agroalimentaire, et un professeur respecté au Québec. L’Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, Ministre de la Famille, des enfants et du Développement Social au Gouvernement Canadien, ainsi que le Dr Vijaya Raghavan, président de la CSBE, étaient parmi les 45 participants. Les présentateurs suivants ont rendu hommage au Dr Belkacemi par des témoignages sur des collaborations scientifiques et académiques:
La réunion régionale propement dite a suivi cet hommage, laquelle a pu compter avec la présence de quatres étudiants de premier cycle (ULaval) parmi les 11 participants. Dans cette réunion, il a été décidé de continuer avec l’organisation des évenements régionaux une fois par année, la prochaine réunion sera probablement réalisé dans une localité plus proche de Montréal. Aussi, un comité régional de la CSBE (section Québec) a été formé pour aider le Directeur régional avec le Bulletin de nouvelles ainsi qu’avec l’organisation de la prochaine rencontre régionale, avec la composition suivante:
The CSBE regional meeting (Quebec section) was held on Sunday march 5th 2017 in Domaine Maizerets (Quebec City) from 10:00 to 13:30.
This meeting started with a Tribute Ceremony in Memoriam of Dr Khaled Belkacemi, professor of Food Engineering at the Soil Science and Agri-Food Department of Université Laval, who died tragically on January 29th 2017. Dr Khaled Belkacemi was an active researcher in agri-food processing and a respected professor of Quebec. The Honorable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development of the Canadian Government as well as Dr Vijaya Raghavan, president of CSBE, were among the 45 participants. The following speakers presented testimonies on past scientific and academic collaborations with Dr Belkacemi:
Following this Tribute, the regional meeting was done, counting with 4 undergraduate students (ULaval) among 11 participants. In this meeting it was decided to keep organizing the regional meetings once a year, next year probably closer to Montreal. Also, a CSBE Regional Committee (Quebec section) was formed to help the regional Director with the Newsletter and the organization of the regional meeting, with the following composition:
The second CSBE Information Night was held in the Hardy Lab of the Engineering Building at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) on March 10, 2017.
The main goal of having the event was to introduce CSBE to new and existing graduate students in Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering as well as to have pleasant networking with delicious foods. Graduate students, faculty and staff in Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at U of S were invited and more than 50 people showed up in the event.
The Vice-President (technical) of CSBE, Dr. Venkatesh Meda gave a presentation about CSBE for half an hour. The presentation included the multi-disciplinary scope of CSBE and career opportunities in the field of agriculture, food, Bio-systems, chemical, and environmental engineering including benefits as a CSBE member. After the CSBE introductory presentation, Alison Graham from Seed Hawk Inc. made a short presentation on Young Professionals Community (YPC) of ASABE. She emphasized the opportunities and benefits from participating in YPC.
Most importantly, people enjoyed pizza, chicken wings, snacks, cake and drinks very much in the nice Friday evening. The program started at 4:30 pm and ran for around two hours.
The CSBE-SK Students’ Chapter launched officially on March 10, 2017. This is a brand new chapter for Saskatchewan region consisting of graduate students in Biological Engineering (BLE) for now but hopefully extended to other Engineering disciplines as well.
The executive team of the students’ chapter include Roland Macana (President), Robbarts Nongmaithem (Vice-President), Tolen Moirangthem (Secretary), and Charley Sprenger (Event organizer). All the executive members were introduced during the Information night as well. The students’ chapter will interact with CSBE SK professional members and will organize academic and social events for student members.
CSBE-SK Students’ Chapter executive team in front of their chapter logo. (From Left to Right, Robbarts Nongmaithem, Tolen Moirangthem, Roland Macana, and Charley Sprenger)
Dr. Oon-Doo Baik, Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at U of S agreed to serve as a SK regional director from 2017. The former reginal director, Dr. V. Meda introduced Dr. Baik during the CSBE Information night event. Dr. Baik briefly expressed his perception of the role of a regional director of CSBE. He valued networking as the word “society” in CSBE meant to be.