Perspectives Newsletter Summer 2021
Vol. 43, no.4 / Posted on September 15, 2021

ying chen

I hope everyone had a great summer, despite of Covid. I thought that by the time I write this letter, the pandemic would be over. But Covid refuses to go away, and the forth wave is hitting us. Regardless, CSBE has been and will be active in its full functions and continue to fulfil its roles in leading the engineering in agricultural and biological systems in Canada and the world.

In this letter, I want to focus on member development that is the most important strategy to grow our society. Nowadays, growth and limited resources are challenges faced in every society, including our own. There has been an on-going need to increase the number of members. CSBE has established Membership Engagement Committee that consists of the VP Membership, VP Regional, and all of the individual Regional Directors.

Last year, in the wake of postponement of the 5th CIGR International Conference 2020 and annual CSBE-SCGAB conference, the CSBE-SCGAB executive council made the decision to provide the opportunity to members and students to present their research in a series of webinars. From September of 2020 to February of this year, 25 students were successfully able to present their research on a wide range of topics. The work presented was impressive in both its quality and its diversity.  It also provided participants with the opportunity to experience a new medium for the presentation of their work and develop invaluable communications skills in its use. To this end, the CSBE-SCGAB is planning a second series of webinars for the winter of 2022.

To participate in the new webinar series, abstracts must be submitted no later than September 30, 2021. Your abstract should be limited to 250 words. It should clearly identify your academic affiliations, the primary contact person and their contact information, especially their email.

Notification of acceptance will be provided by November 30, 2021 with tentative scheduling. Presentations will be scheduled during the months of January, February and March will take place on the Friday of every second week beginning at 10 am Pacific daylight savings time. Presentations are to be maximum of 15 minutes in length followed by 5 minutes for questions.

Abstracts are to be submitted directly to Keith Duhaime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., CSBE-SCGAB Webinar Coordinator.

All abstracts and submitted full/short papers are now available online in our meeting papers repository:


Hello, CSBE-SCGAB Saskatchewan Members!

Have you been wondering lately how to get more involved in your technical Society?  Do you have a knack for creating networking opportunities and bringing people together for professional, social and educational events?  Or maybe you are looking for a chance to expand your skills in these areas and develop some networking experience?

CSBE is looking to immediately fill the volunteer position of Saskatchewan Regional Director.  This is a voting position on CSBE Council.  Regional Directors are also members of the CSBE Membership Engagement Committee and will support initiatives of this committee as well. 

Typical duties of a Regional Director would include arranging/hosting member networking and technical session events in your area, including student member recruitment events on campuses.  CSBE provides an annual budget to each Regional Director for these purposes.  More information on the duties of the position can be found in the CSBE Bylaws.  This position is typically held for a 2-year term.

If you would like to find out more information about this position, or to put your name forward to be considered by the Nominating Committee, please contact Kelly Lund at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  If you’ve been hoping to see more CSBE member events in the Saskatchewan region, now is the time for you to help make it happen!

ying chenYing Chen
Professor at University of Manitoba, Department of Biosystems Engineering

Dr. Ying Chen received her M.Sc  degree from the China Agricultural University (formerly known as the Beijing Institute of Agricultural Mechanization) and completed her Ph.D in 1993 at McGill University, Canada. During 1994-1996, she was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Laval University in Canada. Since 1997, she has been working in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba, Canada, where she holds a Professor position. Dr. Chen is a professional Engineer. Her main research areas include agricultural machinery, conservation agriculture, soil dynamics, soil-machine relations, and discrete element modeling (DEM). In 2006, Dr. Chen received the CSBE Glenn Downing Award for her contributions to engineering for agricultural, food and biological systems. In 2017, she was elected as a CSBE Fellow. She has served a number of professional organizations. In the coming year, Dr. Chen, as the CSBE president, will work with the council members to grow the society.

valerie orsatValerie Orsat
VP Regional Director
Professor at McGill University, Department of Bioresource Engineering

Valérie Orsat is a Professor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering and Associate Dean of Student Affairs on the Macdonald Campus of McGill University. She obtained her PhD from McGill University in 1999. From 1999 to 2007,  she coordinated the training activities of international developmental projects in postharvest engineering, first in China with the project “Microwave processing in China”, and then in India with the project "Consolidation of Food Security in South India". Since 2007, Valérie Orsat is an academic member contributing to the food engineering sector, recognized in 2015 by the John Clark Award from the Canadian Society of Bioengineering in recognition of her outstanding contributions in this field. In 2017, she was recognized as a Woman of Innovation in engineering while she also became Fellow of the Canadian Society for Bioengineering.

For 2021, UMATT participated in the Virtual ASABE ¼ scale tractor competition which ran May 24-30, 2021 and consisted of Reports, Presentations, Defence of Design and Design Judging components. The competition in-person events, such as Durability, Maneuverability, and Pulling, ran unscored due to the Covid-19 pandemic and allowed many teams like UMATT to compete in this year’s events.

Five (5) team members, Andrew Savignac (Vice Design Electrical), Douglas McMillan (Design Chair), Katherine Gledson (Co-Captain), Svan Bazin, and Owen Darrach (Co-Captain) conducted the presentations. With the assistance of other UMATT members throughout the year, we were able to complete the reports and finalize components to optimize our design. These team members also included Andrew Vandendorpe, Connor Litwin, James Tully, Rita Kaka, and Stephane LeHeight. The team’s faculty advisor was Dr. Don Petkau from Biosystems Engineering.

UMATT came in first in the overall event as well as the following subcategories: design report, design presentation, and design judging (which judges manufacturability, serviceability, and testing & development).

UMATT 2021

tractor UofM


Alumni and friends are invited to attend Homecoming celebrations to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Biosystems Engineering Program at the Price Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences on Friday, September 24, 2021, and to help celebrate the inaugural recipients of a new alumni award.  

More details on the University of Manitoba News website.

Message from the Ontario Regional Director Pradeep Goel

Dear Colleagues,

I hope everyone had a wonderful summer. Many of us have already been vaccinated as a result of the effective efforts of the Provincial and Federal governments, and we are in a position to resume most of our regular activities this Fall. We are making progress in both research and our professional life as our community continues to show resilience in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.

Through this newsletter, I'd like to share some recent advancements in our community with you all. I wish you all good health and a fruitful Fall season in 2021.

Pradeep Goel


Submitted by: Dr. Jaskaran Dhiman, University of Guelph

The Water Resources Engineering group at the University of Guelph's School of Engineering is actively involved in numerous field-scale and watershed-scale hydrological modelling research initiatives. The initiatives, which are supported by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP), provide important contributions to the improvement of modelling phosphorus losses from the Canadian side of Lake Erie. Other initiatives supported by the Lower Thames Conservation Authority, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Smart Computing for Innovation (SOSCIP), and Mitacs are also being pursued by the group.

After a lengthy wait, two of the group's students (Amanpreet and Manpreet) were able to travel from India to Canada. We'd like to extend a warm welcome to them in Guelph. We would also like to welcome Dr. Pranesh Paul, who has recently joined the group as a postdoctoral researcher and will be working on the Large-Scale Lake Erie basin project.


Submitted by: Hugh Fraser, OTB Farm Solutions

Hugh Fraser is writing his second book about 'swing beam barns' built to thresh and store wheat, the big crop in Ontario during settlement by pioneers of European descent. Hugh recently toured one such barn built ca 1827, one of the oldest still standing. Hugh is a director with Ontario Barn Preservation whose mandate is to find innovative ways to preserve more of these wonderful structures. For information contact Hugh at'


Submitted by: Neil McLaughlin

Call for Papers – Special issue of Agronomy

Neil McLaughlin has recently accepted the role of guest editor for a special edition of Agronomy entitled 'Design of Agricultural Machinery and Associated Agroecosystem Development.’  We are currently short on submissions for this special issue.  Papers on a wide range of topics related in some way to agricultural machinery are invited.

Agronomy is an open access peer reviewed journal published by MDPI, a large publisher with head office in Switzerland.  Agronomy is a general agricultural research journal covering a wide range of topics in agricultural research including agricultural engineering. Agronomy is rapidly gaining reputation as a first class peer reviewed international agricultural journal.  The 2020 impact factor was 3.417, up 31% from 2019.

If you have a paper and are looking for a place to publish it, you are invited to submit it to Agronomy for this special issue at the website below.  It is a good opportunity to gain international exposure and to highlight the contribution of engineering to agricultural research and development.

For more information please contact Neil McLaughlin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Hossein Bonakdari, Université Laval (département SGA) 

The CIGR International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering is currently running a Special Issue entitled "Artificial Intelligence in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering". Dr. Hossein Bonakdari from Laval University will act as Senior Editor of the Collection and Dr. Gareth Lagerwall as Co-editor.

Considering the fact that all development of high-quality measurement technologies leads to the generation of datasets, data analysis and predictive models have become necessary and is a fundamental step towards sustainable development and health in the field of Agricultural Engineering. It appears that our society should be fixated on the Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and machine learning approaches. These digital technology tools will revolutionize many aspects of future agriculture and natural resources. AI can be used as a promising tool to tackle different problems but related aspects of agricultural practical cases as great concern all over the world. AI methods are opening a wealth of opportunities and benefits for agriculture practitioners and cover a wide application in our society. Our goal in proposing this special issue entitled “Artificial Intelligence in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering" is to understand and apply recent developments in AI applications related to the practical sciences of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. This special issue shed lights on many of the on-going research activities on application of AI techniques into a single open-source document. This special issue will consolidate original research on the application of different technics on AI and machine learning to address social, political, economic, safety, health and technological issues of agricultural and biosystems challenges and opportunities including, but not limited to:

  • Agriculture and Society
  • Energy
  • In-farm, extra farm and regional logistics
  • Animal Systems
  • Plant Systems and Postharvest Technology
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Soil and Water
  • Precision Aerial Application.
  • Waste Management
  • GHG Emissions, Climate change and Adaptation
  • Machinery and Robotic Systems
  • Image Analysis for Agricultural Processes and Products
  • Monitoring, Control and Data Analysis

Centre Ontarien de recherche sur la production porcine à Guelph

L'équipe des consultants Lemay et Choinière est responsable de l'ensemble de l'ingéniérie pour le projet du centre Ontarien de recherche sur la production porcine, propriété de l'Université de Guelph.

La construction a débuté en août 2021 pour se compléter en novembre 2022.

Le nouveau centre permettra le logement de 200-250 truies, avec les sections d'accouplement, de gestation en groupe, et de mise bas en enclos libre. 6 sections de pouponnière et 2 sections d'engraissement permettront la recherche sur les performances zootechniques. Les salles de service ont un laboratoire, salle de procédure vétérinaire, nécropsie, salle de préparation des aliments multi-phases , salle de recherche spécifique en métabolisme ainsi que les espaces de bureau de recherche et employés. Le complexe à haut niveau sanitaire est construit sur la ferme de recherche situé à Elora en Ontario. Le centre de recherche sur les bovins laitiers et sur les bovins de boucherie sont déjà en opération

L'équipe des consultants Lemay et Choinière est fiere de participer à ce projet d'envergure en ingéniérie.


corner perspective


Station de recherche sur la production porcine à Sherbrooke

CLC a complété en 2021 le projet de rénovation à la station de recherche sur la production porcine de Sherbrooke, Agriculture et Agro-alimentaire Canada, débuté en 2017. Le projet consistait en l'aménagement d'une nouvelle salle de recherche sur les truies gestantes en groupe et en cage. Un système d'alimentation de précision Gestal a été installé. 

Yves Choinière, Les Consultants Lemay & Choinière (CLC) :

Grâce aux travaux de documentation, de recherche et d’application des sciences du génie agricole, les membres de CLC ont rédigé et soutenu le dossier de l’étude d’impact environnementale pour la ferme Landrynoise. Il s’agit de la plus grande ferme laitière du Canada. Tous les volets, tels que la conception des étables, la gestion des fumiers, les équipements agricoles, les gaz à effet de serre, la gestion de l’eau potable et le bien-être des animaux, ont été étudiés. Même les impacts du bruit et des odeurs sur la population avoisinante ont été tenus en compte.

Merci à la ferme Landrynoise pour le travail d’amélioration continue pour un meilleur environnement sur la ferme.