Recent News

The duties of the Society Manager include the following:

  • Record the minutes of Council meetings and the annual business meeting and distribute the minutes to Council members within one month of the meeting.
  • Carry on correspondence for the Society.
  • Serve as the office liaison with ASABE office.
  • Assist in preparing CSBE awards, commendations and student awards for the Annual meeting
  • Pay Society expenses.
  • Arrange for preparation of auditors report for AGM.
  • Serve as the office liaison with affiliate societies.
  • Report election results to Council and the annual business meeting.
  • File an annual summary with the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada.
  • Preserve all documents of the Society except those assigned to other officers or committees.
  • Carry out general secretarial duties including keeping of committee lists, bringing appropriate documents to meetings and correspondence.
  • Receive all By-law changes but not responsible for making the changes.
  • Publish and supply in quantity the Awards Booklet to the AGM.
  • Invoice the authors for page charges
  • Print and mail the CBEJ
  • Serve as Secretary-Treasurer for the CSBE/SCGAB Foundation
  • Send out Foundation donation tax receipts      

As you are aware, CSBE-SCGAB Society and CSBE-SCGAB Foundation offer several awards every year. Please email me for information.  Applicants must be a student member of the Society. The Foundation will pay the membership dues for first-time-ever Graduate Students. Email me for information.

The minutes of the 2014 AGM at the Montreal CSBE/SCGAB ASABE conference are posted on our web site


In 2012, the Foundation established a new program. To help our students with their travel to our CSBE-SCGAB Technical Conference and AGM, the CSBE-SCGAB Foundation will pay the fees for base conference registration for the winner(s) of student awards. In addition, the Foundation will provide $100 per student to a maximum of $400 per academic unit (biological/bioresource, biosystems,... eng. programs), to be used to defray the costs of travel and accommodation for attending the conference. The students must be members in good standing of the CSBE-SCGAB in order to be eligible for the awards, fee waivers, and travel support. Eligible academic units (biological/bioresource, biosystems,... eng. programs) are asked to contact the CSBE-SCGAB Foundation (John Feddes) by June 1st of each year, and provide the name, CSBE-SCGAB membership number, and project or thesis title of each winning student who are planning to travel to the conference site. I need a copy of base conference registration receipt for each student who is requesting support. I will issue a cheque to each student at the Edmonton Annual meeting. 

The past 2014 to 2015 year has been very busy for CSBE due to several challenges. Significant amount of time was spent in attending meetings and overseeing and helping to co-ordinate the local arrangements committee for the CSBE Annual Meeting to be held at Edmonton - July 5 to 8, 2015.

Early in 2014, I chaired the CSBE Journal Steering Committee. We met several times through conference calls. The last meeting was held on December 16, 2014. The committee composition is made of Sri Ranjan, Mano Krishnapillai, Stefan Cenkowski, Grant Clark, and Qiang Zhang. We discussed the progress to be made on reviewing the journal paper submissions, and discussed ways to improve the timelines. The CSBE journal does make a unique Canadian contribution to science and industry, but the viability and the value of the journal was analyzed. Resources required for efficient journal management and concerns regarding the availability of peer reviewer’s pool were points of discussion of this committee. It was recognized that the editor’s role is too large, being a taskmaster, a volunteer, and doing the editorial work. We also considered hiring a manager to ensure that the journal operates in a timely fashion. Performance indicators were set to demonstrate that the CSBE Journal is moving forward in a desirable direction. Because of implementation of some of the strategies discussed from this CSBE Journal Steering committee, the timelines in processing the journal papers have considerably improved. Serving as a VP (Technical) and also as an Associate Editor (Instrumentation) for the CSBE Journal, I was able to appreciate the challenges from both the journal operations side, and also from the executive member’s perspective in serving the needs of the members at large, i.e., authors and readers of the journal. The CSBE journal has started to achieve new rapid turnaround times in processing the papers recently.  

I have been working very closely with the local arrangements committee and the technical committee to develop the technical program for the annual conference. Thanks to Ike Edeogu, Murray Tenove, Rick Atkins and all the other members of the Alberta Local Arrangements Committee of CSBE 2015 Edmonton for all their hard work, dedication and sincere efforts. A total of 6 sponsorships has been received from a variety of organizations namely Lakeland college ($750), OPI Systems ($1000), City of Edmonton ($2000 cash and $500 inkind), Beaver Plastics (app $2000 cash) Alberta Beef Producers ($1000 cash) and Serecon ($750). Thanks to Jason Price of the Government of Alberta for leading on this sponsorship engagement. Few letters of invitation were also prepared and sent to some of the international delegates towards assisting their Canadian visa application processes.

Dr. Stan Blade, the Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Alberta will serve as the plenary speaker during our conference. On Wednesday July 8th, 2015 a panel will be held on 'The Impact of Social License on Sustainable Food Production in Canada'. Sean Royer - Executive Director of ARD, Lynda Kuhn - Senior VP of Maple Leaf Foods, Representative from both Beef Producer of Alberta and Ducks Unlimited will serve as panelists. A total of 108 presentations including oral and posters has been received from our members to date to present during the upcoming annual meeting. Three technical tours (Vegreville, Camrose, and the city of Edmonton) have been organized to showcase the wild rose country of Canada. Fundamentals of Environmental Law, Prospective People Skills, Bio-Energy Dialogue Workshop and Measuring Sustainability – The Canadian Field Print Calculator are the 4 workshops tentatively arranged for as of now to be held on July 5th and July 8th.

With this annual report, I am concluding optimistically that the upcoming year will be an uphill task for CSBE focusing on a period of performance, membership engagement, and rebuilding our capacity. We are committed to an unwavering focus on technical operational improvements to enhance the mandate of our CSBE society.

Respectfully Submitted,

Suresh Neethirajan

This was an extremely busy year for me but I did manage to participate in most of the CSBE-SCGAB Council meetings via conference call as well as the ASABE Membership Development Committee meeting in December and the CSBE Membership Engagement Committee meeting in April (both also via telephone conference calls).

I have reviewed the Bylaws and Procedures Operational Manual regarding “member emeritus” and have recommended some additions to be considered at the annual meeting.

I prepared a welcome letter for new members who joined our organization in 2014 to accompany the Membership Certificate that was prepared by John Feddes and mailed to each new member.

This will be done again this summer for new members joining in 2015. Any others who would like a membership certificate can contact Society Manager, John Feddes or myself.

The term of initial membership for students was clarified as being between 5 and 16 months. A membership application made in September at the start of fall school term would run until December 31 of the following calendar year. Any application received between January and August in the current year would only be effective until December 31 of that same year.

I promoted membership in the CSBE-SCGAB at an engineering meeting hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs in October 2014 and again at a careers night held at the University of Guelph in January 2015.

I researched the possibility of adding a sub-category of International Member to recognize the reduced ability of potential members from low income countries to afford the standard international fee to join CSBE-SCGAB and ASABE. A reduced fee schedule, similar to that used by ASABE was approved by Council at our April 15th, 2015 meeting starting for 2016 fees.

Our big concern early this year was the large number of members who did not renew their membership for 2015. As of the end of February 2015, 158 members and 95 students had not renewed their membership. I requested that the Regional Directors try to make a personal contact with these potential members as I did with all of the unpaid international members to give them a gentle nudge to re-join the fold. At the April meeting of Council, I was given approval to send out a letter via email to all unpaid members asking for them to reconsider or failing that a reason for not renewing. I sent out 210 emails to unpaid members on May 1st, 2015 with 9 invalid emails being bounced back to me. Of the potential 201 recipients, I received 14 responses (7%) with 7 not interested in renewing for the following reasons; 4 – no longer relevant to my work, 1 – budget cut at company, 1 – unemployed for 3 years so cannot continue with cost, 1 – retired for 4 years & no longer interested. For the 7 positive replies; 3 – payment processing issues, 3 – just did   not get around to it yet, 1 – department no longer covering my membership so will now need to pay myself.

It would appear that the various personal contacts by Regional Directors and the Vice President (Membership) were effective, since the over-all 2015 membership numbers did rebound significantly and are now essentially the same as last year. Not sure why members do not renew in a more timely manner.  




Number of Members

September 2013

660 paid including students

May 2014

570 paid including 125 students

May 2015

574 paid including 107 students


Ending on a bright note, we are welcoming 10 brand new members, 30 student members and 19 graduate student members for 2015.  

The University of Manitoba has been hosting the Open Journal System (OJS) free of charge since 2009 to help with the online review process.  Over the past six years, I have customized and updated most of the pages in the OJS system to help with the review process of papers submitted to our journal.   

        The entire collection of past journal papers are now available online and can be accessed here: http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/publications/cbe-journal/browse.   The scanned papers were Optical Character Recognition (OCR) processed to enable them to be searched using keywords.

        Section Editors have management level access to the Open Journal System (OJS).  When papers are submitted to the journal, the Section Editors assign it to three other persons on the Editorial Board to review the paper through the OJS online system.  Those assigned the paper can either review the paper themselves or get it reviewed via a personal email to one of their colleagues who are more likely to oblige to review in a timely manner.  Each person serving on the Editorial Board is expected to review about 6 to 8 papers in a year.  If you are interested in serving on the Editorial Board, please contact the Section Editors who are listed below:

  1. Soil and Water Systems Engineering:  Dr. Mano Krishnapillai, Memorial University, NL
  2. Machinery Systems Engineering:  Dr. Hubert Landry, PAMI, SK
  3. Bioprocessing Systems Engineering:  Dr. Valerie Orsat, McGill
  4. Biological Systems Engineering:  Dr Stefan Cenkowski, UofMb
  5. Building Systems Engineering: Dr. Qiang Zhang, UofMb
  6. Waste Management Engineering: Dr. Grant Clark, McGill
  7. Information Systems Engineering: Dr. Suresh Neethirajan, Guelph
  8. Renewable Energy:  Dr. Amit Kumar, UofAlberta

        The Section Editors will also serve as the Technical Committee of our Society to help with the evaluation of the conference paper abstracts, formulate Technical Sessions, and solicit worthy papers for submission to the CBE journal.  Beginning in 2014, the processing time lines for the accepted papers have been published.  To further improve the timeliness of the publication of manuscripts the Council has unanimously voted to approve the following incentive policy:

(a)  Reward each reviewer with a credit of $50/manuscript towards page charges of their own manuscripts published in the CBEJ. A credit will be given for a review of acceptable quality and detail, as determined by the Section Editor, received within THREE weeks of assignment of the review. The total credits used by a reviewer towards publication of a single manuscript shall not exceed $100. The credit must be used within two years of being awarded. 


(b)  Reward each reviewer with a credit of $50/manuscript towards registration in the CSBE-SCGAB Annual Conference. A credit will be given for a review of acceptable quality and detail, as determined by the Section Editor, received within THREE weeks of assignment of the review. The total credits used by a reviewer towards registration at a given conference shall not exceed $100. The credit must be used within two years of being awarded.

        In 2012, the Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal was registered with CrossRef (www.crossref.org) as a member organization allowing the assigning of Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to a paper published in our journal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_object_identifier). I have used the following system to identify our papers.  The http://dx.doi.org is the DOI resolving website. The number 10.7451 identifies our journal.  Following that, I have used CBE.year.volume.first_page_number as the format to identify each paper.  When you type this URL into a web browser, it will take you directly to the .pdf file of the paper.  Therefore, please publicize your papers by providing the DOI link of your paper instead of sending the .pdf file of your paper.  This will help properly register the access count with the DOI system.   By providing the DOI link you can help improve the impact factor of our journal.   

        I thank all the authors, reviewers, and the Section Editors for their support in making the publication of our journal possible.  We need your continued support in a timely manner to make our journal a successful vehicle for disseminating your research.  

Friday, 12 June 2015 13:34

Annual Report from Webmaster 2014-2015

Revamped Awards Section

The Awards section (http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/csbe/awards) was redesigned to give more exposure to award recipients. On the main page, a general introduction is shown with a dynamic mosaic of the 2014 Award recipients. On the left, a first menu links visitors to each award description and form with full citations for recipients of this award. A second menu was also set to show award recipients by year. At this time, only 2014 and 2013 awards recipients were extracted from the booklet, previous years will come shortly.

CSBE LinkedIn group moves with EIC

For the benefit of our members, the CSBE LinkedIn group will join the LinkedIn network of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC). A new sub-group has been established for this purpose within the EIC LinkedIn network. The current CSBE LinkedIn group has been closed on September 1st 2014. We invite all current CSBE LinkedIn members to join this new group.

Reorganization of the CSBE LinkedIn group in this way will give us access to a wider network of professionals, diversified employment offers and recent discussions in the field of engineering. The EIC Linked network has 570 members across Canada and includes LinkedIn sub-groups for the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and Canadian Engineering Management. If you do not yet have a LinkedIn account, take advantage of this opportunity to create one.

Notice to current members of our LinkedIn group: your LinkedIn membership was not automatically transferred to the new group, which may explain you didn’t receive the discussions and comments posted there. You must join the group as a new member by following this link:


Annual General Meeting 2015 in Edmonton

I was involved in the meeting organization at different levels:

  • Installation and configuration of a paper submission system (OpenConf).
  • Configuration and maintenance of an event section on our website (http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/edmonton2015).
  • Configuration of the registration system with online payment.
  • Creation and configuration of a Paypal account to accept online and onsite payment.
  • Sending of several (7) emails to current and past members (list of about 1000 emails) through our newsletter platform.
  • Training of members of the committee for the use of the paper submission system and registration management (database, reports, Paypal).
  • Participation in committee’s meetings.
  • French translation of the Award citations.

Newsletters and Notices to members

A total of 9 newsletters and notices were sent between July 2014 and June 2015 to a list of 665 members. The opening rate is about 30 %.

  1. Invitation to submit your paper to CBE Journal (August 2014, AGM 2014 Canadian authors only (255))
  2. AGM 2014 special issue (August 2014)
  3. Summer Perspectives Newsletter (September 2014)
  4. ASABE 1st Climate Change Symposium: Extended Deadline (October 2015)
  5. Call for Nomination - CSBE Awards 2015 (November 2014)
  6. Fall Perspectives Newsletter (December 2014)
  7. Happy holidays from CSBE/SCGAB (December 2014)
  8. Winter Perspectives Newsletter (March 2015)
  9. Spring Perspectives Newsletter (June 2015)

Job posting

Careers section on our website was more active this year with 8 jobs posting compared to 4 in 2012-2013 and only 3 in 2013-2014. This mean our website (and Society) is a valuable place to announce opened positions and it is growing recognition of recruitment agencies.

Website statistics report

Between July 2014 and June 2015, CSBE website was visited 14578 times (1215 monthly average) with 39290 pages viewed. An average of 2.70 pages per visit with duration of about 2:29 minutes was met, which is 5% more than the previous year (about 13858 visits).

  • The audience was mainly English (74 %) and French (8 %) and came from Canada (53 %), USA (12 %), India (3 %) and many other countries (Brazil, China, Germany, Philippines…). 
  • Main traffic came from organic search (56 %), followed by direct access (24 %), site referral (18 %) and social media (1.7%).
  • Main pages/sections viewed were the home page, Edmonton 2015 portal, Publications, ASABE/CSBE joint meeting news, CBE Journal information page, Join CSBE, and Careers page.
  • Visitor browser preferences were Chrome (48 %), Internet Explorer (21 %), Firefox (18 %), and Safari (9 %). 89 % of visits were from a desktop/laptop station while 11 % were on mobile (phone and tablet). Last year, 8 % were on mobile devices.
  • Social media. About 242 visits were referred from social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Research Gate…)

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