Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2019
Vol. 42, no.1 / Posted on June 20, 2019

DannyMannAs the calendar turns to June, we are just one month away from our 2019 Annual General Meeting on the campus of the University of British Columbia. Preparations are underway for an excellent conference. This year’s theme is “biosystems for clean technology and low carbon economy” and will feature a number of keynote speakers from government, industry and academia. Check out the conference website at for more details. I look forward to seeing many of you in Vancouver next month.

vancouver 2019


Please note that the early bird deadline to register for this year’s CSBE Annual Conference is June 25. You can register here. 

You can book your room at discount rate until Friday June 21. Don't wait!

The theme for this year is “biosystems for clean technology and low carbon economy”. As a part of this year’s program and to address the conference theme we have the following 7 keynote talks scheduled.

  • Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice President Research, University of Manitoba and Acting President NSERC: Why should Biosystems engineers develop mathematical models as management tools.
  • Dr. Gary Bull Professor and head Natural Resources, Faculty of Forestry UBC: Climate change and bioeconomy 
  • Vaughan Bassett, Vice President Pinnacle Renewable Energy: Sustainable wood pellet industry  
  • Maria Wellisch, Senior Policy Advisor, AAFC: Canada’s Emerging Bioeconomy and Agri-Innovation Programs  
  • Dr. Scott Stanners, Director BC Bioenergy Network: BC’s carbon economy a national pioneer 
  • Dr. Chandra Madramootoo, Professor and Past Dean, McGill University: Canada as an Innovator in the Global Food System
  • Dr. Fernando Preto, Team Lead, CanMet Energy, Natural Resources Canada: Canada’s Mission Innovation

Technical sessions will run from Monday July 15 to Wednesday July 17th. For a detailed program please visit:

Looking forward to seeing you in Vancouver!

CIGR 2020 - June 14-18, Quebec City, Canada
Call for Abstracts
Joint meeting
4th International Symposium on Emissions of Gas and Dust from Livestock (EmiLi)
9th International Symposium on Concrete for sustainable agriculture 

The call for abstracts for the 5th CIGR International Conference is now officially open! Under the theme “Integrating Agriculture and Society through Engineering”, the primary goal of this conference is to bring together elite scientists from all over the world, and to provide a unique forum for exchange on the challenges and opportunities in agricultural and biosystems engineering.

The conference will take place from June 14th to the 18th 2020 in Québec City, Canada. Québec City offers a blend of culture and history that is unique in North America. Located along the majestic Saint-Lawrence River, Quebec City is the only walled city north of Mexico and the old part of the town is a UNESCO World Heritage treasure.

See the full Call for Abstracts on our website at
The submission deadline is October 25th 2019.

Stéphane Godbout, Eng., agr., Ph.D.
Conference chair
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By Dr Grant Clark (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

grant clark 2018We have ceased to be the elephant in the room and are now become the bull in the china shop. The United Nations predicts a world population of 9.5 billion by 2050 and 11 billion by 2100 (UN DESA 2019). People around the world seem finally to be waking up to the implications of this enormous human population living on a small planet with limited resources. For years, the doomsayers have been preaching on the street corners (Meadows et al. 1972), but now the evidence is in the news every day and has become impossible to ignore. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of France and growing. Microplastics permeate aquatic and terrestrial environments, including our own bodies (Moore 2019). The carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere is 415 µL/L, the highest that it has been in 400,000 years, and it continues to climb as human activity directly and indirectly volatilizes ever more carbon (Scripps 2019). Polar ice is melting (Jones 2019); permafrost is thawing (Johnson 2019); forests continue to dry out and burn or succumb to logging (WWF 2019). The population sizes and diversity of organisms large and small are crashing, putting us in the middle of the sixth great global extinction event in the paleontological record (UN IPBES 2019). The list of dramatic global changes that are unfolding is daunting and Kunstler’s (2006) “long emergency” appears to be in full swing. The sky seems to be falling six ways from Sunday.

Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC), announced the appointment of Fahimeh Yazdan Panah as Director of Research and Technical Development in April 2019.

Dr. Yazdan Panah joined WPAC from the University of British Columbia, where she was a research associate with the Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group. For the past 12 years, she has carried out bioenergy research on behalf of the university, governments and private industry clients, focusing on biofuel densification, pretreatment, storage, biomass handling and safety. She also serves as the project lead within ISO Technical Committee 238 (Solid Biofuels) and as the chair within ISO Technical Committee 300 (Solid Recovered Biofuels). She received her Ph.D. and MASc from UBC and a BASc from the Amirkabir University of Technology in Iran. She is registered as a professional engineer with the Association of Engineers and Geoscientists of BC and as a professional project manager with the Project Management Institute. Dr. Yazdan Panah also is the Regional Director of the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Society for Bioengineering.