As Past-President it was an interesting year. The main task was to review current positions on council where member’s terms were expiring and develop a slate of candidates for election. This included review of committees such as Awards and Fellows. For the most part positions have been filled, by acclamation. At the current time, BC is still open for a regional councilor.

The incoming council has a very good look to it and I look forward to the accomplishments in the coming year.

There were several other tasks that I participated in and continue to work on:

  1. Preparing a general welcome to all incoming new council members
  2. Reviewing, with Past-Past-President Shiv Prasher, the by-laws of the CSBE/CSGAB. The first step was to send the current by-laws to council and ask thatreview and provide me with any comments. This has been done and it remains for Shiv and I to take them and meld any recommendations for the upcoming Annual General Meeting in Saskatoon this July.
  3. I also worked with René Morissette (webmaster) and Bill van Heyst (Ontario Regional Councilor) at developing a Communications approach. This was started and has slowed considerably but we are still planning on forging ahead.

Many thanks to President Qiang and the rest of the council for feedback on the work to date.

As President-Elect, my main task is to carry out forward planning for the Society, which I have tried to undertake over the past year as best as I can. Since being officially designated as President-Elect of the Society at the AGM in Orillia last year, I have participated in all 6 Council meetings, chaired the newly-convened Student Engagement Committee, and also joined the meetings of the Finance sub-committee. I have also worked with the Nominations Committee chaired by Past-President Ron MacDonald in identifying and contacting nominees for upcoming vacancies in the Council, particularly for the Alberta Regional Director position. I am also currently involved in the Local Organizing Committee for the AGM in Saskatoon this year. In addition, I had a couple of face-to-face meetings in Saskatoon with President Zhang as well as a number of phone conversations with him over the past year discussing current critical issues facing the Society as well as future directions and initiatives that can be considered by the Society leadership to ensure long-term sustainability.

One highlight of the past year was the convening of the Student Engagement Committee in response to the Strive Report. While the Committee was originally tasked “to prepare an action plan for engaging and attracting students” to the Society, the scope has evolved to planning and implementing regional activities to engage all current and potential members in the different regions represented in the Society. I have served as Chair of this Committee, with 10 members including all the Regional Directors, VP-Regional, and two invited members (Department Chairs from two universities). The Committee had four meetings over the past year, out of which a document outlining the mechanisms for funding, approval, and reporting of regional activities has been developed; this document has been presented to the Council and was subsequently approved for implementation. Additionally, a related document describing the duties of regional directors, the potential regional activities that can be carried out, and the procedure for organizing such activities, has been drafted by the Committee to help Regional Directors in planning and carrying out member engagement activities within their region. 

The University of Manitoba has been hosting the Open Journal System (OJS) to help with the online review process free of charge.  The OJS was developed by a consortium of universities to provide a web-based platform for open-access journals to manage and host their journals.  Over the past three 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 system has reduced time spent on sending reminders and writing emails.  It also allowed the electronic management of manuscripts from diverse locations.  The OJS platform has worked reasonably well with no financial cost to the CSBE-SCGAB. 

Despite the introduction of the online system, the time to publish has not decreased significantly. Major bottlenecks are the difficulty in finding reviewers and dismally slow reviewer response time.  This is a universal problem faced by many journals.  In our case, this may be because of the lack of personal connection to the reviewers in all of the areas.  Since the reviewers are anonymous, there is not much credit being given to their time input.  Based on informal discussion and trends in other journals, it was decided to expand the Editorial Board to include four persons in each of the eight topic areas of publication.   The present Associate Editors will serve as the Section Editors with management level access to the Open Journal System (OJS).  When papers are submitted to the journal, the Section Editors will 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.  All the Members of the Editorial Board will get formal recognition through their names being published in the inside front cover of the CBE Journal. 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. Jiten Paliwal, UofMb

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.  Hopefully, these changes will help decrease the time to publish and increase the number of quality papers submitted to the journal for publication.

Another area that needs attention is the Impact Factor of our papers.  I have taken steps to increase the profile of our papers by increasing the visibility of the papers in our journal.  If we want to improve the impact factor, we need to go electronic and make it easily visible and “findable” to others.   Two approaches were followed.

1.    Funding from CSBE-SCGAB Foundation I trained a student to do the scanning and cataloguing of Volumes 1 to 30 under my close supervision.  Theses papers were processed through an optical character recognition (OCR) system so they are fully searchable within the entire paper with any word.  Many other journals are searchable only by keywords and words in the abstract.  Our papers are searchable in the entire body of the paper.   Please fee free to access the search page and try it out.  You will notice two versions of the papers exist.  The OCR version is the fully searchable version.  However, there may be minor errors in the OCR process which substitutes “1” for “l” etc.   If in doubt, you can access the “.raw” file which is an image file to verify.  Volumes 31 through 42 still needs to be done.  Our papers began online publication with Volume 43. 

2.    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).  The DOIs are indexed by a large number of indexing services that give worldwide exposure to our papers.  The latest monthly report from CrossRef shows over 85 million DOIs were accessed in the month of May 2013 alone!  So, we are now part of a very large indexing system.  Beginning in Volume 54 (2012) we have started assigning DOI numbers and here are the DOIs for the published papers in Volume 54:












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.  Beginning in Volume 55, as a condition of assigning DOI numbers to our papers, I will have to include the existing DOIs of all the references at the end of each paper.  Those who are accessing our papers on the web will have live links to those references in our papers giving them easy access to those papers as well.  This makes our papers more valuable to the reader and help increase the impact factor.  I will also get a report from CrossRef with the access statistics for each of our papers.   All of these improvements will promote wider exposure to the papers published in our journal. 

I thank all the authors, reviewers, and the Associate 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. 

The 2012 Audit results from Thornton and Company have finally come to me and the results are a apparently a bit better than expected with a $24,729 loss for the year and a year-end account cash balance of $138,864 down from a starting balance of $150,748. The Deficiency of Revenue over Expenditure is larger than the Decrease in cash Flow due to the difference in accrual methods between fiscal year accounting and  Calendar year cash flow calculation methods.

Several budgeted items such as AIC dues and NABEC profit sharing on the AGM seem to have slipped off the list of Audited Expenditures but are likely hiding under another heading.  Some items were also deferred to 2013.

The proposed budget for 2013 is shown in the Statement of Revenue and Expenditures and projects a $13,600 loss with luck we may do better. With the Fee increase occurring in the fall of 2013 accruing to 2014 the outlook for the 2014 fiscal year will be a slight profit of $2000.

Summary of Thornton and company audited Finanacial Position for the 2012 Fiscal year starting in January 1 2012 and ending December 31,2012.


FY 2011

FY 2012

Liabilities and NET ASSETS









Other income












Decrease in Cash Flow



CASH - beginning of year



CASH end of year






Statement of Revenues and Expenditures


Cash Flow Budget2012

Actuals 2012
Thornton and Company

Proposed 2013 Budget

Member ship fees




AGM  revenues




Canadian Bio Systems Journal




















ASABE charges




Annual General Meeting




AGM profit sharing 2012 NABEC




ASABE board  president's discretion




Business taxes licences and memberships




CDN Bio systems Journal




CDN Bio systems Journal Translation and post








AIC dues




Conferences and symposium  CSBE council Teleconference




Consulting fees Strive Report




Contributions and donations




EIC Affiliation dues and directors Insurance




General and student awards




Interest and bank charges (credit card handling)




Management honorarium




Office CSBE manager




Other CSBE manager




Professional audit fee




Under grad student dues




Under graduate recruitment




Travel -CSBE manager's




Web site




 Misc. Other












Expense recoveries (rebates)








Total Other













Monday, 17 June 2013 11:06

Annual Report from Webmaster 2012-2013

In 2012-2013, there were a lot of changes on the CSBE-SCGAB website. The main objectives of these changes were to give to members, and future members as well, a better browsing experience regardless of which device was used, to make information more accessible, and to improve security with an up-to-date management system. The website was totally revamped during last fall and launched in January 2013.

During the 2012 Annual Meeting, the Council approved the motion to change our domain name to improve relevancy and search engine optimization (SEO). The new domain name adopted was www.csbe-scgab.ca, which is also the official acronym for the Society. The previous domain bioeng.ca will remain active and act as a forwarder. The hosting also changed for a better performing one.

Major changes at-a-glance:

  • The home page was revamped to show the latest information in a shorter page, including a dynamic slideshow.
  • A special section named “What is Bioengineering” was created to showcase our profession. Texts are excerpts from ASABE Resources Magazine Nov/Dec 2012 issue and many pictures showing bioengineering applications come from CSBE-SCGAB members.
  • The CSBE hosted online community is not maintained anymore. We invite people to get connected through our Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Note that user accounts on the old website were disabled and sensitive information has been withdrawn from our database.
  • Our publications directory hosts more than 800 peer-reviewed Journal papers and 1700 conference papers. The SEO has been improved to get higher exposure on search engines, especially on Google. We work continuously to improve the exposure of Journal papers.
  • A new event registration interface has been implemented to provide a better user experience and security.
  • Communication with members is vital for a Society like ours. A newsletter system has been configured to keep you up-to-date about Society activities.

I will be in Saskatoon next July for the CSBE technical conference, so if you want to discuss how the website can serve members, it would be a pleasure to meet you!

In October 2012, 62nd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference was held in Vancouver, BC. CSBE Co-sponsored International Symposium of Biomass and Bioenergy, one of the symposium running parallel to the main conference. Dr. Shahab Sokhasnaj was the co-chair of this symposium. The symposium started from Monday October 15th to Wednesday October 17th with sessions on Resources and Supply Chain, Thermal Conversion, Feedstocks, Preparation and Pre-treatment, New Products and Bio-Carbons, Bio-oil Properties and Upgrading, Biological Processes, Building the Bio-economy, Wood Pellets, Biodiesel and Biofuel Upgrading.

A one-day Research Day has been planning from March 2013 for the students in Chemical Engineering Department at UBC. This event is to be held in September 2013. CSBE will participate in the event to promote the society. CSBE will have an information booth at the exhibition during the “Research Day”. The information booth will help to disseminate information on the Society to potential new members.

Biomass & Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG) members at the University of British Columbia who are mostly CSBE members are organizing a 1.5-day pellet workshop around the Wood Pellet Association of Canada AGM to be held this fall in Vancouver. During the past 10 years, BBRG has conducted extensive research on wood pellet production, storage, handling, life cycle analysis, and characterization of the new generation of torrefied pellets.

As a follow up, the BBRG is organizing a 1.5 day Workshop in conjunction with WPAC's Annual General Meeting to be held November 18-22 in Vancouver. The BBRG Workshop is organized in two parts. Part 1 will consist of lectures and visual electronic boards (electronic posters) on Monday November 18, 2013 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle, the venue for WPAC's meeting. Part 2 will be held on the afternoon of Wednesday November 22, at UBC, where attendees will participate in research on aspects of wood pellets and feedstock engineering, including the new biomass gasification plant on campus. 

CSBE AGM and Technical Conference

Saskatchewan CSBE members helped organize the CSBE AGM and Technical Conference which will be held at the University of Saskatchewan July 7 – 11, 2013. The theme was Interdisciplinary Engineering: Working together to develop sustainable solutions in agriculture and biosystems and the event showcased successful collaborations between industry and academia. The conference included workshops, technical tours and networking events such as an opening reception, BBQ and banquet. The technical program included over 80 oral presentations and over 30 poster presentations.

Visit the website for more information.

U of S ¼ Scale Tractor Team Highlights

university of saskatchewan

The 16th Annual International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Tractor Design Competition was held May 30 to June 2 in Peoria, Illinois.

The team from the University of Saskatchewan again impressed the industry judges and representatives with top finishes in:

  • Campbell Scientific Award for best use of test methods and data acquisition (1st)
  • Design Judging (by 25 industry engineers) (3rd overall)
    • Serviceability (5th)
    • Safety (3rd)
    • Ergonomics (3rd)
    • Test and Development (3rd)
    • Sound (3rd)
    • Maneuverability (3rd – top two tied for 1st)
    • Team Presentation (4th)

Based on the team’s success over the years, the team secured strategic sponsorship agreements with CNH, Bourgault, Brandt, Kramer, strong support from APEGS, as well as support from Macdon, Hitachi, John Deere and others.


CBE New Graduates

During the 2013 Spring Convocation, Elizabeth George received a M.Sc. in Biological Engineering while Ka Po Catherine Hui and Majid Soleimani Baghsorkhi received a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering. Six undergraduates received their B.Sc. in Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering (Allison Graham, Sheldon Gregoire, Burt Lozinsky, Carolyn Osborn, Beverly Rodowski and Shaun Turner). Beverly Rodowski was the recipient of the Oliver L. Symes Memorial Award and Carolyn Osborne earned the Clinton L. Armstrong Memorial Award. 


Manitoba Region membership 2012-13 roster consists of 137 members, out of which 82 are student members (71 under-graduate and 11 graduate students).



Manitoba section of CSBE/SCGAB jointly organized a “membership information session” for graduate and under graduate students along with Biosystems Engineering Graduate Students’ Association (BEGSA) and Department of Biosystems Engineering at University of Manitoba on March 1st, 2013. Totally 28 graduate and under graduate students attended this session. Dennis Hodgkinson, President, DGH Engineering, and Vice- President (Industries), CSBE, Dr. Qiang Zhang, Professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering, and President, CSBE,  Dr. Danny Mann, Head, Department of Biosystems Engineering attended this season, and explained about the benefits of CSBE membership, professional networking through CSBE for professional development potential employment opportunities and importance of continuing with our society after graduation. Students were actively involved in the conversation about our society’s role in their career development, and expressed that regular events from CSBE will help them to engage more with the society. Four graduate students submitted their new member application forms in this information season and they obtained their CSBE and ASABE membership on May 7, 2013.

As a part of creating awareness about biological engineering to school students, CSBE/SCGAB Manitoba section sponsored two awards at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium 2013. Tooba Razi (grade 7) and Keisha Mendoza (grade 11) won this year's CSBE/SCGAB awards in the intermediate and senior categories, respectively.

Department of Biosystems Engineering Highlights

Dr. Myron (Ron) Britton, a long time member of CSBE, officially retired as a Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba on December 31, 2012. He was appointed as a Senior Scholar in the Faculty from January 1, 2013, which provides him with an on-campus office and allows him to maintain his involvement with teaching and research.

The University of Manitoba Quarter-Scale Tractor Team placed 4th in pulling, 7th in maneuverability, and 13th in design judging at the 2012 IQS Tractor Competition which was hosted by ASABE in Peoria, Illinois on May 31- June 3, 2012.

At the March CSBE-SCGAB Council meeting, I announced my intention not to renew my appointment as the Manager/ Secretary of the Society and its

Foundation. I will step down after the 2013 AGM in Saskatoon. I feel privileged to work with the Council as well as membership over the past two years. So, this will be my last NEWSLETTER. Dr. John Feddes will be the incoming Secretary/Manager of the CSBE-SCGAB.

I encourage you as a Society member to actively  participate in the CSBE/SCGAB to ensure its continued growth and vitality. Please contact Dr. John Feddes, the incoming CSBE-SCGAB Secretary/Manger, for you feed back and concerns. I am listing the complete formal duties of the Secretary-Manager of the Society.

  • 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.
  • Record the minutes of Council meetings and the annual business meeting and distribute the minutes to Council members within one month of the meeting.
  • Provide committee chairs with a list of their committee members and any necessary papers and instructions.
  • Carry on correspondence for the Society.
  • Serve as the office liaison with ASABE office.
  • Report to Council and the Annual Business Meeting on election results.
  • Receive reports from all committee chairs.
  • Publish the PNL only, no written contributions expected.
  • Pay Society expenses.
  • Arrange for preparation of auditors report for AGM.
  • Receive all By-law changes but not responsible for making the changes.
  • Publish and supply in quantity the Awards Booklet to the AGM.
  • Publish the CBEJ (Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal) when finalized by the Editor
  • Deliver the CBEJ and invoice the authors for page charges, and serve as Secretary-Treasurer for the CSBE/SCGAB Foundation


AGM 2012 Minutes

The minutes of the 2012 AGM are reported in my Annual Report and are posted on the web site as well.

Downolad the AGM 2012 Minutes.

AGM 2013

As you are aware, the next AGM and Technical Conference will be held in Saskatoon from July 7 to 10, 2013. The Local Organizing Committee has worked very hard to organize  an interesting and timely technical program, workshops and  technical tours. I encourage you to attend.


CSBE-SCGAB Awards for 2013-2014

As you are aware, CSBE-SCGAB Society  and CSBE-SCGAB FOUNDATION offer several awards every year. Please see below for more information. Applicants must be a student member of the Society.

The CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship is to recognize academic excellence among student members of the Society. The Scholarship can be awarded each year to the student member of the Society with the highest GPA in the preceding semester (based on a minimum of 12 credit hours and the GPA must qualify the recipient to appear on the Dean’s Honor List). The Department Head or his/her designate will select one scholarship recipient per year per department.

The CSBE/SCGAB Undergraduate Thesis Award is to recognize excellence in undergraduate student research in fields represented by the Society. Each eligible university will identify their recipient of the Award. These names will be sent for recognition at the annual banquet.

The CSBE/SCGAB Undergraduate Design Project Award is to recognize excellence in the development of engineering design skills in solving problems related to biological systems. Individual or team projects are eligible. Each eligible university will identify their recipient of the Award.

The CSBE/SCGAB Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc. Category) is to recognize excellence in graduate student research in fields represented by the Society. The award will be presented in recognition of M.Sc. Theses.

The CSBE/SCGAB Graduate Thesis Award (Ph.D. Category) is to recognize excellence in graduate student research in fields represented by the Society. The award will be presented in recognition of Ph.D. Theses.

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 and admission to the CSBE/SCGAB Awards Banquet 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 (basically me and next year 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 (next year John Feddes) need a copy of base conference registration receipt for each student who is requesting support. I (next year John Feddes) will issue a cheque to each student in Saskatoon during the annual meeting.

At the 2012 CSBE-SCGAB Banquet, for the first time, framed certificates were prepared for the winners of these awards.

Full details for these awards are described on the web site at www.csbe-scgab.ca/csbe/awards


Monday, 25 March 2013 11:33

Treasurer (interim) report - Winter 2013

The society continues to run its yearly operating budget at a deficit. The deficit this year is forecast to be $36,000 on an operating budget of $102,000. This includes an extraordinary item of $20,000 for a membership retention study. The previous year’s deficit was $20,000 and the 2013 budget deficit is forecast to be $23,000. With banked cash reserves expected to be $114,000 at the end of this year it is time to consider ideas such as increased membership dues and AGM registration fees as well as tighten control on expenses. Not only is it prudent to ensure that we have at least one year operating expenses in reserve, at this cash burn rate we could only continue deficits of this size for 4 more years before ceasing to be a viable organization.

There are two areas council is looking at, cost cutting and increased revenues. Council has appointed a subcommittee to investigate this (John Morgan, Ron MacDonald, and Qiang Zhang) to determine where savings can be made in the immediate and long term. Revenues can also be increased and this too is being examined. Annual dues and AGM registration fees were examined closely by council at the last meeting to see what should be done to help stem the fiscal loss.

1) The CSBE portion of your annual Membership dues as outlined below: currently produce revenue of $20,000. Following the motion at the 2012 AGM to increase fees by 50%, council will, at its next meeting, consider a motion to raise annual dues by 50% as outlined in the adjacent table, for the 2014 fiscal year taking membership fee revenue to near $28,000. Note that the fees will remain unchanged for the current 2013 fiscal year as ASABE has already sent out the fee notices. This $8000 will pare the deficit down to $15,000, so additional work is required and soon. Student fees and grad student fees will remain unchanged so long as they are paid by CSBE and the CSBE Foundation. (ASABE finds themselves in a similar state and will also be increasing their fees (from a full member baseline of $130) resulting in a combined 2014 membership fee that will be bigger than your current expenditure.)

Age Group

2012 – 2013

2013 – 2014 proposed

Age 34 and under



Age 35 to 64



Age 65 to 74



Age 75 and up



Emeritus 65 to 74




2) AGM revenues are the Society's other main source of income, and Council is investigating increased registration fees, videotaping of sessions for sale and other methods to address the deficit issue. Based on increased dues the CSBE AGM profit will need to be close to a forecast $15,000 each year - This will be difficult in years where there is a joint ASABE AGM event.

The combined effect of these measures will bring the CSBE-SCGAB into a closer to sustainable financial position for 2014 by arresting the cash burn rate from past years. Cash flow Trend with both increased dues and increased revenue from AGM.

Fiscal year















Revenues less Expenses





Assets as year end Cash





Expenses have increased marginally from year to year with new expenses appearing with the migration to a more current and secure electronic web media presence while revenue from older technology publishing has diminished. The Council is doing their best to keep up with developments. The detailed cash flow spreadsheet is available as an attachment. Should anyone wish to discuss this with me please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.." style="line-height: 1.3em;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. - We're always open to better ideas.

Download the Financial 2014 Projection (PDF)

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