Manitoba Regional News

Thursday, 14 September 2017 11:20

News from Manitoba

Greetings CSBE Members!

Summer in Manitoba seemed to fly by as always, with many different activities and events going on throughout. One of the key highlights of the summer was being able to attend my very first CSBE conference, hosted this year in my current hometown of Winnipeg. It was a great opportunity to finally meet many of my fellows CSBE colleagues, which I have only had the chance to speak with over conference calls and via email. It’s always wonderful to finally put a face to a name, and get to meet in person. Timing of the conference couldn’t have been better, coinciding with both the Canada Games, as well as Folklorama, a city favourite which is held every August. The conference focusing on “Food, Fuel, and Fibre for a Sustainable Future”, was fortunate to include a diverse group of engaging speakers & presentations, from industry and researchers across the globe! Thank you again to everyone for taking the time to participate and contribute to this event. I hope everyone who was able to attend this year enjoyed themselves as much as I did, and was able to get the chance to explore a little of Winnipeg as well! In the upcoming months, as I am relatively new to CSBE, I look forward to getting better acquainted to my role as Manitoba Regional Director, and learning more about this great society and its members!


Keri Bouchard

Manitoba School Science Symposium (MSSS) is the yearly provincial showcase event for school students to display their scientific knowledge, and CSBE/ SCGAB once again made it's presence at MSSS by awarding one project each from senior and intermediate category which are related to bioengineering field. This year, 25 projects out of 450 displayed projects found to be related to bioengineering field.  Evan Chan from Grand Park High School won the intermediate category award for the project “Developing an Interdigitated Capacitive Sensor to Evaluate the Quality of food solutions” and Jacob Harvey from Grant Park High School won the senior category award for the project “Medium optimization for bioplastic in non-sterile conditions using Pseudomonas Putida”.  

Congratulations to these young talents!

int winner
Evan Chan - 2017 CSBE/SCGAB award Winner- Intermediate category

senior award
Jacob Harvey - 2017 CSBE/SCGAB award Winner- Senior category

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.

Eric Hawley
CSBE – University of Manitoba

On September 24, the annual UMCSBE & Biosystems BBQ was held at the University of Manitoba. The BBQ is a great opportunity for networking for students and professionals alike.

This year, the event was well attended, with about 50 students, 10 industry representatives, and several professors, and a good time was had by all.



Monday, 14 September 2015 13:47

Manitoba Regional News for Summer 2015

nathan-keslerGreetings!  My name is Nathan Kesler and I am the new Manitoba Regional Director for CSBE.  I am a graduate of the department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba, and I currently work in the Manufacturing Engineering department at Buhler Versatile Inc. in Winnipeg.  My goal as Regional Director is to work together with the CSBE team to create a stronger industry presence within the Society.  I have a few ideas on how we might do this, such as a starting a professional-student mentoring program, for example.  But we would like to hear some of your ideas as well!  Please drop me a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any suggestions.  In the meantime, watch for upcoming events, and enjoy the beautiful season that is Fall!  Now onto the news:


Hot off the Presses!

Bio-Imaging-BookR. Vadivambal and Digvir S. Jayas have just published a 381-page, co-authored book entitled “Bio-Imaging: Principles, Techniques, and Applications” with the Taylor francis Group (CRC Press).


Rewards for Research:

Professor Jitendra Paliwal, with co-applicants Stefan Cenkowski, Digvir Jayas, Paul Fields, Noel White, Joe LoVetri, Martin Scanlon, and Doug Thomsom received $1.98 million to purchase new research equipment, with $638,298 coming from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI).  The team lead by Dr. Jitendra Paliwal will attempt to perfect technology that will enable farmers to remotely detect the early stages of grain deterioration (typically referred to as “hot spots”).

Professors Qiang Zhang, Stefan Cenkowski and Kris Dick received $249,306 from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John E. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF).  Their research will focus on the development of innovative greenhouse technologies to meet the challenges of food insecurity in remote northern communities of Canada.


Industrial Development Dollars:

Buhler Versatile Inc., the agricultural equipment manufacturer best known for its powerful line of farm tractors, is set to receive up to $220,000 in funding through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to support the development of continuously variable transmission (CVT) tractors, and to create hydraulic installation models and drawings for tillage equipment.  Grant Adolph, Chief Operating Officer of the company, stated: “With NRC-IRAP assistance, Versatile will be able to advance development of a continuously variable transmission for tractors, which will result in better efficiency for farmers in Canada and around the world, ultimately enabling them to increase productivity. This funding will contribute to the use of simulation technology, significantly reducing development time, which will allow us to be more competitive in the global marketplacethe development of CVT tractors will  for enhanced productivity of farmers around the world.”


CSBE has recognized the following individuals for their outstanding work in various different areas:

Dr. Qiang Zhang, Dr. Stefan Cenkowski, Taylor Kirouac, Samantha Symons, Amy La, and Valery Agbor.  Keep up the good work! 

Dr. Digvir Jayas received 2015 Engineering Ambassador Award from the Partners In Research’s (PIR) whose mandate is to educate the public about the importance and significance of research within the biomedical and natural sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics domains. With these awards the PIR celebrates leading Canadian research, its promotion to the public through outreach activities and recognize the impact of this research on the lives of Canadians.

Dr. Digvir Jayas has been elected as President of Engineers Canada for 2015-2016 term. In the coming year, Dr. Jayas and the Engineers Canada Board will work with the engineering regulators to advance the profession in the public interest.

Dr. Ron Britton has been elected as President-Elect of the Canadian Society of Senior Engineers.

The Alternative Village is located on the west side of the University of Manitoba campus and is home to the Biosystems Strawable Research Facility and other test structures. Kris Dick, an associate professor in Biosystems Engineering, is the Director. Research on non-conventional materials, wood products, solar energy greenhouse, building envelope studies and alternative energy projects take place at the village. A recent article in the Canadian Consulting Engineer has an interview with Kris and highlights some of the activities.  Read it at http://www.canadianconsultingengineer.com/features/the-alternative-village/.

CSBE/ SCGAB continued it's presence at Manitoba School Science Symposium (MSSS), provincial showcase event for school students to display their scientific knowledge by awarding one project each from senior and junior category which are related to bioengineering field. Tasneem Vahora, Annette Kroeker, Senthilkumar Thiruppathi and Aadesh Rahkra volunteered along with Chella Vellaichamy to choose the projects for CSBE awards. This year, out of 358 projects displayed, 22 found to be related to bioengineering field. Sydney Mangilit and Winnica Beltrano from Ecole River Heights won the junior category award for their project “Removal of Phosphorus through Phytoremediation”. Jordan Groening and George Camara from Grant Park High School won the senior category award for the project “Water Filtration”. 

2015 CSBE/SCGAB award Winners- Junior category

2015 CSBE/SCGAB award Winner- Senior category

Judges (S. Thirupathi, A. Rahkra, C. Vellaichamy, T. Vahora and A. Kroeker) at MSSS competition

Faculty of Engineering, University of Manitoba hosted “Engineering Graduate Awards” reception at EITC atrium on March 11, 2015. Vanessa Krahn and Chelladurai Vellaichamy received “W.E. Muir Scholarship for Graduate Students in Biosystems Engineering”. Warren Blunt, Jillian Seniuk Cicek and Chelladurai Vellaichamy received “Edward R. Toporeck Graduate Fellowship for Excellence in Engineering”.


Mr & Mrs. Muir with W.E. Muir scholarship recipients (Vanessa, Chella)

Friday, 12 December 2014 13:00

Department of Biosystems Engineering News

Ron Britton was named an Honorary Life Member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba at their Annual Meeting on October 24, 2014.

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