Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2014
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 12:00

Few Words From President Bernardo Predicala

bernardo-predicala “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” - Lao Tze. 

I think of the Society as a ship on a journey, albeit a ship much like those we would find during the very early years of maritime history, powered only by sails and operated by a crew working together efficiently to keep the ship afloat and set in the right direction. In such a ship, there are no paying passengers; each person on board has a specific duty which must be carried out diligently to keep the ship functioning properly, particularly when facing rough seas.  I believe this is very much true of our Society; each member has to be engaged in the operation of the Society in order to keep going and to survive.

Published in Editorial

The Canadian Society for Bioengineering

La Société Canadienne de Génie Agroalimentaire et de Bioingénierie

Date:  July 14, 2014  12-1:30 pm with lunch

Place: Palais des Congrès, Montréal (room to be determined)

Tentative Agenda:
Greetings and attendance sign up
Call to order (President Predicala, CSBE)
Presentation of Student Awards
Appointment of Chair and Secretary for meeting
Additions to the Agenda
Approval of the Agenda
Approval of minutes of previous meeting 
Summary of Annual Reports
Old Business
New Business

  • Approve the transition application to comply with the new Corporations Act
  • Approve Bylaw Changes – Q. Zhang
  • Appointment of Auditor for 2014
  • Approve 2015 Budget


Published in Notice of Meeting

Forgive me, but it’s difficult to remain optimistic and to view the glass as half full in frequently, inconsistently, variably, and still not so bright and sunny Alberta! Oh yes, and you can add to that, often bitterly cold and just about always windy Alberta! Bah! Humbug! :-(

Edmonton@ 0910 h on May 05, 2014 
Edmonton@ 1345 h on June 09, 2014 


Speaking of precipitation (water), the regional chapter (CSBE Alberta) recently hosted its second lecture series on the said theme entitled, ″Alberta’s Water for Life Strategy and the Role of Bioresource Engineering″. This event was held on June 4th in Calgary on a beautiful, sunny, +20 oC day (only to return to Edmonton that evening at 9 oC and a torrential downpour).

Similar to the inaugural lecture held in Edmonton in January this year on the bioenergy theme, the Calgary event boasted three guest speakers. Our opening speaker, Ms. Edith Vanderpuye, from the provincial Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development gave a lecture on ″Integrated Resource Management System & Water for Life″. Our second speaker, Dr. Jon Sweetman, from Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions delivered his lecture on ″Managing Alberta’s Water for a Sustainable Future″, and our third speaker, Mr. Jason Unger, from the Environmental Law Centre gave a thought provoking, challenging presentation on ″Environmental Future, Legislative Past - Water Law and the Complexity of Resources Management″. The lecture was well attended by a cross-section of participants (including CSBE regional members and potentially new members) from government, oil and gas sector, energy sector, regulatory services, agriculture, agro-services, private consultants and graduate students from university. E-copies of the presentations will be made available to the lecture participants. If you are interested in one or all the presentations, please contact Ike Edeogu (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for an e-copy.

As mentioned earlier, CSBE Alberta inaugural lecture entitled, ″Bioresource Engineering - Advancing Alberta's Bioenergy Platform ″ was held on January 28th in Edmonton - for biased reasons a weather report for that day has been excluded - J. The Edmonton lecture featured Dr. Stanford Blade with Alberta Innovates - Bio Solutions. His lecture was on ″Making Choices: Investing in the Alberta Bioeconomy ″. The second speaker was Ms. Kelly Maher who presented on ″Biorefining & Bioindustrial R&D in Alberta ″. Ms. Maher is with the Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN) at the University of Alberta. The third speaker, Ms. Susan Carlisle, with the provincial Ministry of Energy gave a presentation on ″Alberta Policy Context for Bioenergy″. Again this event was well attended and boasted participants from across Alberta from provincial and municipal governments, forestry industry, universities and colleges, research organizations, and private consultants. If you are interested in one or all the presentations from the bioenergy lecture series, please contact Ike Edeogu for an e-copy.

Well, that’s it for now. I am off to figure out how I can get out of ″winter mode″ both physically and psychologically! It might be time for a spatial change! Speaking of which, I look forward to seeing you in Montreal in SUMMER - next month!

Until next time, au revoir!

Ike Edeogu

Published in Alberta Regional News

Manitoba School Science Symposium (MSSS) is the showcase event for school students to display their scientific knowledge. To create awareness about our Biosystems engineering to school students, CSBE awards have been given to the projects related to bioengineering field. This year, out of 350 projects displayed, 26 found to be related to bioengineering field. Allie Skwarchuk, and Wynonna Mendoza from Ecole River Heights won the junior category award for their project “Can We Use Plants to Control the Amount of Phosphorus in Lake Winnipeg?”. Amanda Wong from Grant Park High School won the senior category award for the project “Constructing a Multitouch Camera Based Touchscreen”. 

2014 CSBE/SCGAB award Winners- Junior category
2014 CSBE/SCGAB award Winner- Senior category
Published in Manitoba Regional News

Kris Dick is part of the organizing committee for NOCMAT2015. The conference entitled “Construction for Sustainability – Green Materials and Technologies” is scheduled for August 10-13, 2015.

The University of Manitoba Association of Tiny Tractors (UMATT) made the trip to Peoria to participate in the ¼ Scale Tractor Competition. They will be accompanied by their faculty advisor, Don Petkau. Results from the competition will be included in the next newsletter.

There are a total of 24 graduands of the Biosystems Engineering undergraduate program who will be receiving degrees at May Convocation.

Don Petkau will be attending the Fifth Annual Conference of the Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA) in Canmore from June 8-11, 2014.

Published in Manitoba Regional News

English below

Après un an de dur labeur, l'équipe de tires de tracteur de l'Université McGill (Mutrac) était fin prête à compétitionner contre les 27 équipes provenant d'universités de partout en Amérique du Nord participant à l'édition 2013-2014 de l'ASABE IQS. Après quatre jours d'intense compétition, les gagnants ont été annoncés au banquet de fermeture.

  • Mutrac s'est classée neuvième sur 28 au total général ce qui représente un classement de six positions plus haut que l'an passé.
  • Mutrac  a remporté la troisième place dans la catégorie de présentation d'équipe. Cela signifie que nous présenterons à nouveau à la conférence internationale de l'ASABE tenue cet été à Montréal.
L'équipe Mutrac est extrêmement fière de ses merveilleux accomplissements et s'est déjà remise au travail pour l'an prochain!

After a year of hard work designing and building a 1/4 scale tractor, the McGill Tractor Pulling Team (Mutrac) was ready to compete against the other 27 teams participating in this year's competition. After 4 days of intense competition, the winners were announced at the closing banquet ceremony.
  • Mutrac placed 9th out of 27 overall which is 6 places higher in ranking than last year.
  • Mutrac won 3rd place in the team presentation category. This means that the team will be presenting again at the ASABE conference in Montreal in July.
We, the Mutrac Team, are very proud of our achievement and have already started the design process for next year's competition!

On May 28, nine members of the ULtrac team took the road to participate to the International Student Design Competition (IQS), organized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

This year, twenty-seven university teams took part in the competition, which was held from May 29 to June 1, 2014 in Peoria, Illinois, United States. The team is proud to have successfully remained competitive in obtaining the 7th position overall and despite the many unexpected situations in the last two months. The year 2014 was characterized by the implementation of several pulling tests on clay, the design and built of a test bench and laboratory testing of a controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT). It is a strong and determined team who will take over next year.

The ULtrac team wishes to thank its generous sponsors who have allowed students to show once again their expertise and contributed largely to the success of the 2014 edition of the project.

Visit their website at: http://ultrac.fsaa.ulaval.ca/


Source: http://www.aic.ca/about/awards.cfm

Ernie BarberErnie Barber

AIC's highest honour, the title of Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada recognizes an individual AIC member who has made a distinguished contribution to Canadian agriculture through contributions to building scientific capacity for societal good, integration and collaboration between disciplines and sectors, and communications. Dr. Ernie Barber received the award at a dinner in Ottawa on June 11, 2014.

Dr. Ernie Barber has made outstanding contributions to Canadian agriculture through a distinguished and wide-ranging career of research, academic leadership and partnership building with industry and government.

His research has contributed significantly to Canadian agriculture through advances in the ventilation, heating and air quality control of intensive livestock units worldwide - improving the health of humans and animals and minimizing the impact of these facilities on the environment.

He is currently building critical scientific capacity as Managing Director of the new $50-million Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan, a research institute built upon a unique public-private partnership involving PotashCorp, the Saskatchewan government and the university. The GIFS enables multi-disciplinary research, training and technology development aimed at increasing agricultural productivity, supporting a prosperous agricultural bio-economy, and contributing to the goal of global food and nutrition security through innovation and international partnerships.

A long-time professor and administrator at the University of Saskatchewan, his exemplary work within numerous senior leadership portfolios has consistently encouraged and made possible critical collaborations - both interdisciplinary ones among researchers and many others between academics, government and industrial partners. With an enthusiasm for agriculture that colleagues call "infectious," Barber is highly regarded as an outstanding educator, communicator and builder of research capacity.

In addition to his outstanding work as a researcher and administrator, Barber has also earned a reputation as an exceptional mentor and educator. He has won four teaching-related awards while at the University of Saskatchewan, and many of his former students are now important contributors to agriculture in academia and within many other public and private institutions.

Barber was also recently named Interim Provost and Vice-Provost (Academic) for the U of S. This is the second time he has held this role, as he previously filled this vacancy from 2007 to 2008.

Barber is the first Saskatchewan resident to receive this honour since 2004, when Glenden William Hass - a longtime contributor to agriculture in both the private and public sectors - was made an AIC fellow.


Participants at the 2014 ASABE/CSBE meeting can view state-of-the art technology by taking part in one of the optional technical tours offered next July in Montréal, Canada.

On July 13, a one-day tour will include several research facilities at McGill University’s Bioresource Engineering Department. On July 16, a half-day tour will focus on a large-scale biomass heating plant at a greenhouse. The day after the meeting, on July 17, two technical tours are offered. The first post-meeting tour includes a large agricultural machinery facility, a sugar shack visit and meal, and a winery. The second post-meeting tour brings participants at a state-of-the-art aquaculture facility and at an innovative water treatment plant. Details are found at the meeting web site under: Agenda / Program, Technical & Local Tours:


Participants should pre-register by June 27 for better planning. After that date, registration will be accepted only on site, at a higher fee. Booking on some of the tours might not be available after June 27. If you have already registered but did not include a tour, take time to read about the tours and perhaps find a useful addition to your own personal agenda. If you decide to add a tour, pre-register by June 27 and indicate that it is an addition to your pre-registration.

Plan to participate in this major event where more than 1,000 engineers and students are expected to exchange on agricultural, food, biological and environmental engineering issues.

The Local Organizing Committee
Canadian Society for Bioengineering (CSBE/SCGAB)
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)



Emailed on June 4th, 2014

Published in Notice of Meeting
Sunday, 15 June 2014 11:38

Annual Report from President 2013-2014

We tried to provide a clear structure for this year’s annual report for each Council position by implementing a simple template which includes a brief description of duties of the position, followed by a statement of goals and plans when the year/term started, actual accomplishments during the year, and then plans for the coming year (for those with multi-year terms). The list of duties and responsibilities of the President as described in the Society’s By-Laws may seem mostly ministerial and administrative such as chairing meetings, appointing persons to committees, among others, but in my view, it is the responsibility of the President to steer the Society towards its goals while ensuring that the Society keeps functioning as best as it could. In that sense, I take full responsibility for all the developments and progress (or the lack thereof) that took place over the past year, without taking credit away from the various other Council members and specific individuals who were actually involved in carrying out the bulk of the work.

As stated in my very first contribution to this column, my goals for the year focus on three aspects: (1). continuing with the implementation and possibly developing new initiatives in response to the recommendations of the Strive report; (2). streamlining the function and operation of the Council; and (3). continuing the efforts to revitalize the CSBE journal. In terms of accomplishments, thanks to the members of the Membership Engagement Committee chaired by Fahimeh Yazdanpanah, a number of regional activities were carried out over the past year and a few more are in the planning stages for the coming year. This is the first year that we have actually organized something like this, providing seed funding to the Regional Directors to initiate and implement their plans; it is understandable that there is still some learning to do but we are hoping that as the Regional Directors gain more experience in carrying out activities within their regions to engage our members, then in the long run this would turn out to be a sustained series of worthwhile activities over the years to come.

On the streamlining of the Council, we have introduced performance standards for Council members, mainly to establish guidelines for acceptable performance and expected outcomes from each position. Additionally, Qiang Zhang led the effort in updating our Bylaws as well as the Operations Manual, mainly to ensure that the functions of each position are well-defined and our internal processes are adequately described and documented such that they are very useful particularly for those who are new to the Council.  One such process updated by René Morissette and Grant Clark is our own elections, which we are now going to conduct through online voting to help facilitate wider participation by general membership.

On the CSBE Journal revitalization, a Steering Committee headed by Suresh Neethirajan has been formed and given the task of finding out ways to improve the operations of the journal with the eventual goal of increasing the number of quality manuscripts that we publish, while ensuring that its overall operation is financially sustainable. Given that the business of journal publication has been becoming increasingly competitive in recent years, the committee is working with our journal editor to ensure that the various means identified for improving efficiencies, cutting down the time for adjudicating and processing manuscripts, and promoting the journal to expand readership and the number of submitted manuscripts, are carried out effectively.

I would just add that this year we will have a joint annual meeting with ASABE and so I would like to recognize all the individuals who are putting in extra effort in preparation for the conference. I would invite all our members to join me in expressing our gratitude to them by actually participating in the conference to ensure the success of the event.

In summary, I believe that we accomplished significant strides over the past year, but I would be the first one to admit that there were things that we could have been done better and there’s still a lot to be done. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the Society and I am very much indebted to all individuals, both in the Council and the general membership, who undertook this journey with me.

Published in President Report
Page 1 of 2

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