Perspectives Newsletter Winter 2016
Monday, 14 March 2016 14:07

Message from President Sylvio Tessier

sylvioIt’s March already, for all practical purpose winter storms are behind us in Manitoba, and probably anywhere else in Canada. This is the time of year where it is good to undertake new projects or put the shoulder to the wheel to achieve our goals.

For our dedicated professors, scientists and professionals of all specialties, it is time to ensure that search reports are completed and do some prayers to obtain coveted research grants. It is also time to think about your society annual conference.  The Local Arrangement Committee members have worked hard to put in place all the logistics and venue, as well as an original technical program.

Published in Editorial


Dear Members,

The Canadian Society for Bioengineering will be having its technical conference and AGM 2016 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Innovative Solutions for a Sustainable World”.  

We have received more than 80 abstracts at this time, so thanks for your contributions! For those who haven’t yet submitted an abstract, you have until the extended deadline of March 24 to be part of this exciting conference!  We would welcome abstracts from a wide range of areas that apply to the theme “Innovative Solutions for a Sustainable World”.  Examples are: energy generation and conservation, water management, food and biosystems, nutrient management, precision engineering, environmental measurements etc. 

Important up-coming dates: Notification of abstract acceptance is April 18.  Online registration opens March 16 and will close on June 24 – this is the last date for signing up for any conference events (e.g. BBQ, Banquet), as there will be no door sales.  Author registration and early-bird deadlines are June 3.  Student poster and oral presentation submission deadline is June 17, and the deadline for submitting full papers is also June 17.

In addition to the technical sessions, the conference program includes a keynote presentation from Dr Adam Fenech (director of the Climate Lab at the University of Prince Edward Island), panel discussion on “The impact of climate change on sustainable food production: minimizing on-farm climate related risks”, and workshop on “Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Commercialization” with presenters from the Industry Liaison and Innovation office at Dalhousie and Innovacorp.  The technical tour will include a guided tour of the Bio-Environmental Engineering Center (BEEC), Aquaculture Center, and Department of Environmental Sciences at Dalhousie’s Agricultural Campus in Truro as well as visiting Perennia Bioventures and Innovation Center – a business incubator for food processing, agriculture, biotechnology and aquaculture, serving as the commercialization wing for the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture.

For more information about the conference, please see this weblink:  https://csbe-scgab.ca/halifax2016

To submit an abstract online, please follow the instructions available on this weblink:  https://www.conftool.com/csbe-scgab2016/

To register for the conference, select on Register as participant after login:  https://www.conftool.com/csbe-scgab2016/

To make this conference a success, we need to ensure a high level of attendance.  So please spread the word amongst your colleagues and students. You can download two posters publicizing the CSBE conference that you can print and display, or send on to your contacts. Download Poster 1, Poster 2.

Also, we would welcome any sponsorship for this event.  Currently we have commitments from the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia and Doug Bragg Enterprises Ltd.  Please let us know if your organization could offer sponsorship.  A sponsorship form is available on our website outlining the levels of sponsorship and how to make a donation.

logo blueberrylogo DBE

Thank you and looking forward to seeing you in Halifax!

Su-Ling Brooks, PhD PEng
Associate Professor
Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science
Dalhousie University, Halifax Nova Scotia

Co-chair of Local Arrangements Committee

Published in Notice of Meeting

As of the end of February, 2016 there are more than 200 people that have not renewed their membership. This is very concerning as it represents about a third of our membership.

Hopefully this has been an oversight and you really did not intend to leave our engineering society CSBE-SCGAB and ASABE. Our member benefits and services are important for our personal professional growth and the health of our Societies. I hope you will renew your membership soon. Why not take a few minutes and do it now, while on the web?


If you are no longer interested in the benefits of membership in our organization, I would appreciate an email back at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your reason(s) for this decision. It could help give direction to the Council regarding future programs and benefits to ensure the organization continues to meet the needs of its membership.

Hoping to welcome you back into the organization or hearing why it is not a good fit for some of your professional development.  Thank you.

Harry Huffman, P. Eng.
Vice President (Membership) for CSBE/SCGAB
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Published in Notices to Members

Engineering Research Day 2016 was hosted by the Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) Graduate Students Club with support from the CHBE department and Faculty of Applied Science (APSC) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It was held on February 11, 2016. The event was a graduate student-driven initiative with the goal of enhancing relations between academia and industry and to connect the two communities. The theme of the event was “Energy Solutions for Sustainable Future”.


Research Day Organizing Team

The full day event included undergrad and grad students, researchers, alumni and faculty members from all engineering disciplines across the Faculty of Applied Science as well as industry representatives.

The agenda of the Research Day featured two keynotes, a centennial lecture alongside with a poster session, undergraduate student design teams and Three Minute Thesis competitions.

Poster Session, Three minute Thesis and Student Design Teams competitions showcased and exposed research projects across UBC APSC to the industrial partners. These sessions engaged the industry in the interesting projects conducted in UBC APSC with the hope of future collaborations.  


CHBE-UBC Research Day- Poster Session

Key talks from the distinguished professors provided a broad picture on “Engineering solutions for sustainable future” and gave students, faculty members and industry professionals a perspective where the technology is heading. One of a particular interest to CSBE was the centennial lecture on “The Future of Fossil Carbons with Implications for Engineering” by a world-renowned specialist Prof. Axel Meisen - President of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. He talked about different technology pathways to produce energy including conventional and renewable energy sources. He also talked about the emerging technologies that can use fossil fuels for other applications such as the replacement of structural steel by carbon fibres, conventional glass by polycarbonates, and copper by nano-carbons. Two other presentations concerned “Plasma Processes for Resource Recovery and Energy Applications” and “Engineering porous materials for fun and profit”.

In the afternoon session, a panel discussion on “Life after Grad School” was held. Academia, industry and entrepreneurs discussed job search strategy and entrepreneurship for graduate students.

CSBE is pleased to sponsor this event and to become part of this successful event. Mahmood Ebadian, the BC regional director of CSBE, participated in this event. He was a judge for undergraduate student design competition. He also delivered a short speech on behalf of all the event sponsors at the end of the event. He thanked the event organizers for putting such a great event together. He found the event very informative and essential for students to present their research, talk to their peers and develop their professional network by meeting and talking to the industrial representatives.

ron macdonald2015Ron MacDonald has been working with Novus Corp (a Guelph Engineering consulting company) to model the on-board environment for shipping hens and broilers from the farm to the processing plant. He has also been collaborating with Prof Trever Crowe, CSBE member and Professor at University of Saskatchewan.
Published in Ontario Regional News

Jingjing Cabahug, M.Sc. student in the Biological Engineering program at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, won the second prize of the R.O. Ball Young Scientist Award during the 2016 Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) held in Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel, Banff, Alberta on January 13, 2016. The award recognizes graduate students who provide the best overall combination of good and relevant science, well-written abstract, and excellent presentation. Cabahug presented her ADF-ADOPT-funded work done at the Prairie Swine Centre on the evaluation of ATP bioluminescence method for rapid assessment of cleanliness of commercial hog transport trailers, under supervision of Dr. Bernardo Predicala.


Jingjing Cabahug (right) with the competition organizer and the other winner.

Monday, 14 March 2016 11:15

Dr. Venkatesh Meda recent activities

Dr. Venkatesh Meda was invited to participate at the Sackler Institute for Nutritional Science and The New York Academy of Sciences, at a Workshop ‘Little Beans, Big Opportunities: Realising the potential of pulses to meet today’s global health challenges’ on November 20, 2015. This event was organised in collaboration with McGill’s Center for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE).

Dr. Meda presented a scientific paper at the PACIFICHEM 2015: THE INTERNATIONAL CHEMICAL CONGRESS OF PACIFIC BASIN SOCIETIES 2015, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA DECEMBER 15 - 20, 2015: (Degradation of phenol with a microwave-UV irradiation treatment system using nano Ti-O2)

Lorne Heslop, P.Eng., (43 year member) received his agricultural engineering degree at the U of Guelph. Lorne began his career as a design engineer, then chief engineer for a farm machinery manufacturer. He moved into agricultural mechanization research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), spending almost a decade developing technology transfer and intellectual property policy and procedures for agricultural research. He finished his career as Director, Science Policy, then Director, Science and Innovation with the Research Branch of AAFC. A full experience from the application of engineering through to the policy foundations for science in agriculture. A tremendously enjoyable career! Lorne’s advice to younger members: ‘Be prepared for your career to evolve and change, ensure you are capable of and comfortable with communications, stand by your principles, then share these traits with others.’

Travis Rops (<1 year member) is in his final year of Mechanical Engineering, Co-op at the University of Guelph. He will finish in April 2016. He recently became a CSBE member, while attending a Careers Night at the U of G. He grew up on a cash crop farm outside Sarnia, Ontario where they cultivated corn, wheat and soybeans. Through co-op work terms he received training in HVAC design, quality control and project management/coordination. After graduation, he plans to begin training for pressure vessel design as per ASME Section VIII. As a young engineer, Travis would like to tell seasoned members that ‘When looking to hire recent Engineering grads, focus less on the major we chose and our marks, and instead speak with our previous employers. We’ve all become accustomed to learning new concepts rapidly and are eager to prove our abilities in the real world’.

Luke Dugard (<1 year member) is a recent graduate of Mechanical Engineering, Co-op, at the University of Guelph. He recently became a CSBE member, while attending a Careers Night at the U of G. Luke grew up on a cash crop farm in Durham, Ontario, but often helped with milking at their neighbour’s dairy farm. His latest Co-op job was working in the research and development department at MacDon industries. He was responsible for conducting field testing on swathers and draper headers across Midwestern North America and Australia. As a young engineer, Luke would like to tell seasoned members that ‘Experience is an essential part of any successful engineering team, but with the speed at which our industry is changing, you may be surprised at the new perspectives a young professional can provide’.

Stephen Clarke (33 year member) received his agricultural engineering degree at the U of Guelph. He is currently employed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at Kemptville, Ontario (www.omafra.gov.on.ca). He is the provincial engineering specialist for on-farm energy systems, energy efficiency, and conservation, including alternative and renewable energy systems. He also works on biomass for heat and crop storage. Steve was raised on a beef farm in Northern Ontario and now lives in Eastern Ontario with his wife Carol Anne. Mr. Clarke is the recipient of 2007 Canadian Society for Bioengineering John Clark Award for his contributions in the fields of Electric Power and Processing, and Energy. Steve’s advice to younger members: ‘Ask a senior engineer to be your mentor’.

Jan Jofriet (42 year member) received his engineering degrees first in Amsterdam, Holland, then here in Waterloo. He was a professor at the University of Guelph for many years and is now retired. His area of expertise is (and was) structures, mechanics and mechanical behaviour of materials. He embraced numerical analysis since the late 60’s, but always remained cautious about accepting its results. Jan’s advice to younger members: ‘Treat every job as a new problem that warrants looking at all possible solutions, including those that appear ‘way out’. Don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk’.

Published in Ontario Regional News

Suresh Neethirajan Picture 1

Dr. Suresh Neethirajan, Director of the BioNano Lab and an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering was an invited speaker at the prestigious Royal Canadian Institute (RCI) for the Advancement of Science on February 4, 2016 at the Noel Ryan Auditorium, Mississauga. RCI is Canada’s oldest continuously functioning scientific society founded by Sir Sandford Fleming in 1849. The goal of RCI is to reach out to foster science literacy and science culture in Canada. Almost one in every 50 citizens of Toronto is a member of the Royal Canadian Institute. Dr. Neethirajan’s talk was titled “Good Things Come in Small Packages: Rapid Detection of Avian Flu”.   

Webcast of Lecture: http://bit.ly/1VVLK6m

Published in Ontario Regional News

RobertHunter Sunnybrook Prize

A University of Guelph bioengineering student has won the prestigious 2016 Sunnybrook Research Prize worth $10,000.

Robert Hunter beat out nine other finalists from across Canada. He presented his research on using biosensors for diagnosis, management and tracking of diabetes to a judging panel on Jan. 8, 2016 at the Sunnybrook Hospital of Toronto.

“My initial reaction was one of complete shock; there were a lot of great presentations from students from all over the country,” Hunter said.

“I didn’t think about it as a competition, more as a chance to share my work and ideas. This is the mindset I had going into it, so I felt very relaxed.”

The annual competition is intended to recognize excellence in undergraduate research and promote careers in biomedical research.

Hunter works in the University of Guelph’s BioNano Lab led by engineering professor Suresh Neethirajan. He plans to pursue graduate studies in bioengineering.

“Winning this prestigious and highly competitive Sunnybrook Research Prize is a remarkable achievement, and raises Guelph’s research profile at the national level,” Neethirajan said.

“This award will help Robert to continue to excel in academics and research. Enabling our students to get the best research experience at Guelph is truly rewarding.”

Hunter used microscopic materials to develop an inexpensive hand-held biosensor that rapidly detects diabetes in a user-friendly home test. It can distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes from the same droplet of blood.

It’s the second year in a row that a Guelph student was named a finalist. Last year, Guelph student Evan Wright, who also works in Neethirajan’s lab, made the final round.

Published in Ontario Regional News
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