Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2013

qiang-zhangTime flies! This is the last “President’s Words” I am writing, as my term is ending at the Annual General Meeting in Saskatoon. I wish to thank all council members for their support and dedication. I also wish to thank all volunteers who serve the Society in various capacities with enthusiasm and dedication.

Published in Editorial
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 14:53

Notice of the AGM 2013 of CSBE-SCGAB

Date:  Monday July 8, 2013

Time:  12 00 to 13 30 with lunch

Place:  Marquis Hall, Exeter Room, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Tentative Agenda:

  1. Greetings and attendance sign up
  2. Call to order (President, CSBE)
  3. Appointment of Chair and Secretary for meeting
  4. Quorum
  5. Additions to the Agenda
  6. Approval of the AgendaApproval of minutes of previous meeting 
  7. Correspondence
  8. Summary of Annual Reports
  9. Old Business
  10. New Business
  11. Appointment of Auditor for 2013
  12. Announcements
  13. Adjournment


As you are aware, the CSBE-SCGAB and its FOUNDATION sponsor several student awards. These include:

  • The Foundation will pay the membership dues for first-time-ever Graduate Students
  • The CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship 
  • Foundation Student Team Competition Funding Program 
  • CSBE/SCGAB Undergraduate and graduate student competitions

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.

Full details for these award are described in Secretary/Manager Annual Report.


Published in Notice of Meeting

2013 Standards Developer Award

Congratulations to CSBE, Shahab Sokhansanj, one of the recipients of the 2013 Standards Developer Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). Shahab will be recognized at the 2013 ASABE Annual International Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri during the General Session on July 22nd, for his exemplary leadership and work in the revision of a very important Standard that deals with Densified Products for Bulk Handling.


Engineers Canada Fellowship

Dr. Shahab Sokhansanj was elected to the Fellowship of Engineers of Canada at a ceremony on March 7th in honor of exceptional contribution to the engineering profession in Canada. On behalf of the Canadian Society for Bioengineering, we congratulate him on this great honor and accomplishment.


Bio Resource Alumni Reunion

UBC Bio Resource alumni got together on May 25th, 2013 for an all years reunion. It was a morning social, a tour of Chemical and Biological Engineering Department laboratories at UBC followed by dinner. A few members of CSBE were among the attendees.


WPAC 2013 conference to hit Vancouver in fall

Pellet producers and industry colleagues are in for a treat this November, as the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) will host its expanded AGM in Vancouver. The event, held November 18-20 in scenic downtown Vancouver, will grow on the format adapted for WPAC's last AGM held in Quebec City in late November 2012. It will include a pre-conference tour of bioenergy facilities, an ice breaker reception, a one-day conference focused on the pellet export market, and the WPAC AGM itself. For the first time it will also include a small number of value-priced table-top exhibit opportunities, as well as a few sponsorship opportunities. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to the event's email contact list. As the official media partner of WPAC, Canadian Biomass will work with the association to develop and promote the event through both its domestic and international audiences. 


UBC's BBRG to hold pellet workshop in Vancouver 


The Biomass & Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG) at the University of British Columbia will hold 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. In 2011, with assistance from NSERC Pacific, BBRG organized a 2-day workshop on updates on science and engineering in the practice of biomass densification. It was well received by industry members with more than 100 attendees from BC, North America and Europe.

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. 

The BBRG workshop will present the latest research and development on wood pellets and feedstock engineering research at UBC and from around the world, especially the latest ISO standards and practices in Europe.  Topics to be covered include:

  • Self heating initiation and spread of heat in wood pellet storage and ways of storage design and management to mitigate it.
  • Calorific value and the age of pellets vs. storage temperature and moisture content
  • Torrefaction kinetics and methods of making durable pellets
  • Comparative life cycle analysis for regular and second generation pellets and sustainability certificates
  • Innovations in online measuring of biomass compositional properties.
  • Will it be feasible to protect individual wood pellets from moisture ingress?
  • Steam torrefaction vs. dry torrefaction, which is the winner?
  • Does pelletization affect conversion of pellets to liquid fuels (boil oil and ethanol)?
  • Opportunities to reduce the pellet cost using blends of low quality feedstock
  • Safe transportation of pellets based on the IMO project (self-heating and the flammability tests).
  • Assessment of durability and sieve size (1/8" vs. 3.15 mm)

For more information, visit the www.biomass.ubc.ca

Tuesday, 18 June 2013 12:08

Saskatchewan Regional News - Spring 2013

CSBE-SCGAB Annual Technical Conference and AGM

The CSBE-SCGAB Conference for Interdisciplinary Engineering in Agriculture and Biosystems is quickly approaching! Plan to be in Saskatoon July 7-10 to attend this conference that will

showcase collaborations among engineering disciplines and between academia and industry. If you cannot attend the entire conference, you are welcome to sign up for the workshops and tours to earn professional development credits!

Workshops (July 7)

Workshop 1: Sharpening your Technical Communication Skills, presented by the Graham Centre for the Study of Communication

Workshop 2: Modeling Crop & Soil Flow Using Discrete Element Method, presented by CNH Canada and DEM Solutions

Workshop 3: Renewable Energy: Solar PV and Solar Thermal Systems, presented by Rob Baron, Centre for Sustainable Innovation at Lakeland College

Workshop 4: Renewable Energy: Biomass, presented by four speaker:

1. Alok Dhungana, Lakeland College, "Pyrolysis 101"

2. Jason Praski, Titan Clean Energy Solutions, "Large scale pyrolysis and it's industry applications"

3. Ben Voss, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, "Biomass combustion"

4. Mojgan Kovoosi, BECii, "Synergies of manure biogas, ethanol production and alage production


Tours (July 9)

Tour 1: Gardiner Dam-Lake Diefenbaker, Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Development Centre, Irrigation Farms

Tour 2: PoundMaker Feedlot and Ethanol Plant, Western Beef Development Centre (solid state anaerobic digester), Cargill Canola Crushing Plant

Tour 3: Canadian Light Source, CNH Saskatoon Plant, U of S Dairy Barn


You may pre-register online or register in person (workshops and tours are first come, first served).

For more information or to pre-register, visit the conference website: http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/saskatoon2013


Call for Abstracts: Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering Science, Trades & Technology

The 2014 edition of the biennial conference of the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology (CCWESTT) will be held in Regina, Saskatchewan May 21 to 24, 2014. The Conference theme is: “Open Opportunities: Mentoring the Future”.  The call for abstracts will remain open until October 1, 2013. Visit www.ccwestt2014.caor email 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." style="line-height: 1.3em;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for more information.


Letter from a Concerned Member

What percentage of the advances in Prairie agriculture has resulted from engineering research and development?  Few would argue against an answer stating that at least one-third or more of today’s agricultural progress stems from advances in agricultural and biological engineering research.  Despite recognition of these contributions, future engineering research and development within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada stands to be seriously curtailed, because engineering is often viewed as support activity and primarily the responsibility of industry.

From the beginning, agricultural engineering played a lead role in federal agricultural research, especially at Swift Current.  Today’s research facility in southwest Saskatchewan, the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre (SPARC), began in 1920 as the Dominion Experimental Farm at Swift Current with the objective “to discover suitable cultural methods and cropping systems for the dry areas of Saskatchewan and Alberta.”  Its work included the evaluation of new farm machinery and engineering-based soil and water dryland research.  Many of the earliest soil and crop management methods and implements were conceived, designed, and influenced by engineering work conducted at Swift Current: the first test combine, stubble mulching, harrow packing, soil listing, rod-weeding, cereal and forage research plot seeders and harvesters, openers for zero- and minimum-till drills, various crop harvesters for wind, snow, and biomass management, etc.  Engineering designs for soil sampling, fertilizer placement, Prairie dam construction, irrigation works and projects, salinity control, community pastures, and the like were also initiated.  In fact, the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) received its major start at the Swift Current Research Farm.

SPARC continues today as the only federal research centre in the Brown soil zone within the “Palliser Triangle.”  With time, research programs for breeding semiarid plant crops, developing dryland agronomy, and promoting irrigated and non-irrigated forage production were added to the initial engineering research programs at the “Farm” during the thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies.  In 1982, the Engineering Section consisted of eight engineers; two in machine design, one in tillage, one in irrigation, one in salinity, two in energy conservation and renewable energy, and one in Soil and Water (also the section head).  This Engineering Section lasted for ten years, until, upon the loss of two engineering positions, it amalgamated with the Soils Section to form the Soils and Environment Section.  By 1998, two more engineering positions were eliminated with a third in 2002, as retiring engineers were not replaced.  This left only three engineering positions still existing from the eight that functioned 20 years earlier.

During the last two years, these three engineering research programs at SPARC have been or are closing:  the Soil and Water, the Dryland Salinity, and the Engineering Design Research Programs.  The engineers serving these programs have transferred to other research programs or have been asked to retire or resign.  Soil and Water Engineer Brian McConkey is now a Strategic Coordinator for the Agricultural-Ecological Systems and Health Program; Harold Steppuhn has retired into a Honorary Scientist role (unpaid) to document 50 years of federal and provincial research in controlling dryland salinity; and Mark Stumborg has been asked to wind-down the Engineering Design and Biomass Development (Engineering) Programs.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013 12:00

Manitoba Regional News - Spring 2013

Totally 16 Biosystems engineering under-graduate students received their B.Sc. (BioE) degrees at the Spring 2013 convocation. With the new specialization option, 3 graduated with the Biomedical Specialization, 5 with the Environmental Specialization, and 1 with the Agricultural Specialization.

Shawn Wiebe won this years’ Faculty of Engineering Program Medal in Biosystems Engineering.

Idris Ademuyiwa Adelakun,  Leno Jose Guzman Quinonez, Maria Anastasia Mastorakos and Charles Chioma Nwaizu received their M.Sc. degrees and Joe Nelson Ackerman, Robert Vaughan Parsons, and   Mohammad Al-Amin Sadek received their Ph.D. degrees at the May 2013 Convocation.

Awards and Scholarships

Saravanan Nandhagopal (PhD student) has been awarded Edward R. Toporeck Graduate Fellowship for Excellence in Engineering. Marcos Cordeiro, and Senthilkumar Thiruppathi (PhD students) have been awarded W.E. Muir Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Biosystems Engineering.

Amy La, Behzad Bashiri, Chelladurai Vellaichamy and Ravikanth Lankapalli, graduate students from the department of Biosystems Engineering have been awarded University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF). Congratulations to award winners!

Manitoba Schools Science Symposium

The CSBE Manitoba Region continued its effort to create awareness about biological engineering to school students through sponsoring awards at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium held on April 27th at the University of Manitoba. 

Tooba Razi, grade 7 student won the Biosystems Engineering award in intermediate category for her project “Effect of blade angle on wind turbine efficiency”.


Keisha Mendoza, Grade 11student won senior category award for the project entitled “An A’peeling way to filter water: The banana peel water filter”.




Published in Manitoba Regional News
Monday, 17 June 2013 12:02

Québec Regional News - Spring 2013

Université Laval ¼ Scale Tractor Team Results

The International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition was held in Peoria, Illinois, from May 30 to June 2 2013. A total of 29 teams competed in various events including tractor pulling, design judging, written design, maneuverability and team presentation. 

ULtrac team proudly represented Université Laval and the Faculté des sciences de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation with a 4th overall rank! They ranked first for the written design report and for the safety design judging as well. Kansas State University, University of Kentucky and Modesto Junior College finished in first, second and third position respectively. 

ULtrac detailed results:

Overall: 4th
Written design: 1st
Team presentation: 6th
Tractor pull: 10th
Maneuvreability: 5th
Design judging: 4th
  Safety: 1st
  Serviciability: 7th
  Ergonomics: 5th
  Test and Development: 3rd
  Sound: 14th


ULtrac team would like to thank its sponsors: Irrigation Norco, FSAA, Desharnais Service & Pneus, AGETAAC, Anderson, EBM Laser, Soucy Track, Philippe Savoie, CV-Tech, Ulaval, FQRNT, AIAQ, FÉRIQUE, DYNACO, Canimex, Fondation U.Laval (fall 11), VRE, FIÉ, REGAAUL, Équipements Jocelyn Frenette, AFFI, Engrenage Provincial, NSK, Hayes Brake, Isaac Instrument, Fibre lister, PR Distribution

Team members: Danik Sarrazin, François Blais, Jean-Gabriel Turgeon, Vincent Rodrigue, Guillaume Sauvageau, Charles St-Arnaud, Guillaume Goulet, Hubert Soucy, Sylvain Champagne, Justine Beaulieu Gagné, Alexandre Porlier, Alexandre Houle, Francis Côté, Francis Désaulnier,  Cédric St-Pierre, Louis Bourdage, Raphael Soucy, Mary-lou Touga


universite laval


Monday, 17 June 2013 11:28

Annual Report from President 2012-2013

The goal I set out for my presidency was to address some critical issues raised in the Strive! Report, specifically to develop and implement action plans to attract young (student) members to the Society, to enhance the technical value of the Society, and to enhance communications among our members, within the scientific community, and with the industry and the public. The committees assigned to these tasks have been working hard and made good progress.


The student engagement committee has developed a detailed “procedures manual” for organizing activities at the regional level, including the description of duties of Regional Directors, suggestion of possible activities that may be organized at the regional level, and step-by-step instructions for planning and carrying out these activities. The spirit of the recommendations by the committee is to encourage and facilitate the conduct of regional activities by providing seed funding to each region, while minimizing administrative burden associated with organizing the activities and assigning discretionary responsibilities to the Regional Directors for planning and implementing such activities. I wish to thank Bernardo Predicala and everyone serving on the student engagement committee for doing an excellent job in charting out the course for organizing regional activities to involve and engage young members.

The technical value enhancement committee led by Grant Clark has been working with the journal editor to explore the possibility of joining the existing (mostly non-active) technical committees with the journal editorial board. This combined technical board/committee will be actively engaged in proposing and preparing the technical programs at the AGM, as well as other possible technical events (workshops, specialty conferences, etc.). The committee has been preparing a “living” document for the program/activities of the Annual General Meeting.

A significant value of our Society is our journal of Canadian Biosystems Engineering. We have had some challenges in the logistics of publishing the journal and reviewing manuscripts. The journal editor Ranjan Sri Ranjan has managed to get the University of Manitoba to host the Open Journal System (OJS) to help with the online review process. To speed up the review process, Ranjan is also in the process of establishing an editorial board, which will include 3 to 4 persons in each of the 8 topic areas of publication. Each person will be assigned 3 to 4 manuscripts to review each year, while the present Associate Editors will serve as the Section Editors to manage the review process through OJS.

The communications committee led by Ron Macdonald has developed a concept of communication workflow. A new Newsletter template was proposed. The idea of using social media (Twitter and LinkedIn) has been explored. The most significant progress was the launch of the new Society website, which has been entirely revamped to be compliant with the latest technologies, security and accessibility features. A big thank-you goes to René Morissette for his time and effort in developing and managing the website.

The Society has been running its annual operating budget at a deficit. A financial committee was established to explore both short- and long-term measures of cost cutting and revenue increasing. Some immediate actions that were recommended to and approved by the Council are increasing membership dues (as approved by the membership at the 2012 AGM), and removing the subsidies for student membership.

I am very pleased to announce that John Feddes has accepted the challenge to replace Ali Madani as the Society Secretary/Manager, effective July 1, 2013. Ali has been running the Society for the past two years in an exceptional and professional manner. I would like to wholeheartedly thank Ali for his dedication and hard work.

The local organizing committee has done an excellent job of putting everything in place for a successful annual conference in Saskatoon. More than 100 abstracts were received, four workshops were planned, and three technical tours were arranged for this conference. I would like to thank Joy Agnew, Grant Clark, and the all the member of local organizing committee for putting together a first class conference program.

Version française:

Le but je me suis donnée pour ma présidence était d'aborder certaines questions essentielles soulevées dans le rapport écrit par The Strive!, en particulier pour développer et mettre en œuvre des plans d'action pour attirer les jeunes membres (étudiant) à la Société, afin d'améliorer la valeur technique de la Société, et d'améliorer la communication entre nos membres, au sein de la communauté scientifique, ainsi que avec l'industrie et le public. Les comités affectés à ces tâches ont travaillé dur et fait de bons progrès.

Le comité d'engagement de l'élève a développé une analyse détaillée "manuel de procédures" pour l'organisation d'activités au niveau régional, y compris la description des fonctions des directeurs régionaux, des suggestions d'activités possibles qui peuvent être organisées au niveau régional, et des instructions étape-par-étape pour la planification et la réalisation de ces activités. L'esprit des recommandations de la commission est d'encourager et de faciliter la conduite des activités régionales en fournissant des fonds de démarrage pour chaque région, tout en minimisant le fardeau administratif associé à l'organisation des activités et l'attribution des responsabilités discrétionnaires aux directeurs régionaux de planification et de mise en œuvre de ces activités. Je tiens à remercier Bernardo Predicala et tous ceux qui servent au sein du comité de l'engagement des élèves pour faire un excellent travail en traçant la voie pour l'organisation d'activités régionales pour impliquer et engager les jeunes membres.

Le comité d'amélioration de la valeur technique dirigé par Grant Clark a travaillé avec le rédacteur de la revue à explorer la possibilité de rejoindre les comités techniques existants (essentiellement non-active) avec le conseil de rédaction de la revue. Ce comité du conseil d'administration / technique combinée sera engagé activement dans la proposition et la préparation des programmes techniques à l'AGA, ainsi que d'autres événements techniques possibles (ateliers, conférences spécialisées, etc.) Le comité prépare un document «vivant» pour le programme / activités de l'assemblée générale annuelle.

Une valeur importante de notre Société est notre revue de génie des biosystèmes au Canada. Nous avons eu quelques difficultés dans la logistique de la publication de la revue et l'examen des manuscrits. Le rédacteur en chef Ranjan Sri Ranjan a réussi à inciter l'Université du Manitoba à accueillir le « Open Journal System » (OJS) pour aider avec le processus de révisions en ligne. Pour accélérer le processus d'examen, Ranjan est également en train de mettre en place un comité de rédaction, qui comprendra 3 à 4 personnes dans chacun des 8 domaines thématiques de publication. Chaque personne se verra attribuer 3 à 4 manuscrits de revoir à chaque année, alors que les rédacteurs associés actuels associés serviront les éditeurs de rubriques pour gérer le processus d'examen par OJS.

Le comité des communications dirigé par Ron Macdonald a développé un concept de flux de communication. Un nouveau modèle de bulletin a été proposé. L'idée d'utiliser les médias sociaux (Twitter et LinkedIn) a été explorée. Le progrès le plus important a été le lancement du nouveau site web de la Société, qui a été entièrement remanié pour être compatible avec les dernières technologies, la sécurité et les fonctionnalités d'accessibilité. Un grand merci va à René Morissette pour son temps et ses efforts dans le développement et la gestion du site.

La Société a été en cours d'exécution de son budget annuel de fonctionnement à un déficit. Un comité financier a été créé pour explorer les mesures de réduction des coûts et l'augmentation des recettes à court et à long terme. Certaines mesures immédiates qui ont été recommandées et approuvées par le Conseil sont d’augmenter les cotisations (approuvée par les membres à l'AGA de 2012), et de supprimer les subventions à l'adhésion de l'élève.

Je suis très heureux d'annoncer que John Feddes a accepté le défi de remplacer Ali Madani comme la secrétaire / gestionnaire de la Société, à compter du 1er Juillet 2013. Ali a géré la Société pendant les dernières deux années d'une manière exceptionnelle et professionnelle. Je tiens à chaleureusement remercier Ali pour son dévouement et son travail acharné.


Le comité local d'organisation a fait un travail excellent de tout mettre en place pour une conférence annuelle réussi à Saskatoon. Plus que 100 résumés ont été reçus, quatre ateliers ont été prévus, et trois visites techniques ont été organisées pour cette conférence. Je tiens à remercier Joy Agnew, Grant Clark, et l'ensemble des membres du comité organisateur local pour mettre sur pied un programme de conférences de première classe.

Published in President Report

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.

Published in Past-President Report

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. 

Published in Journal editor reports
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