It has been over six months since I became the President of CSBE/SCGAB. The goal I set out for my presidency was to come up with specific measures for revitalizing the Society. In my previous message, I reported the establishment and objectives of three subcommittees to address the issues of attracting young (student) members to the Society; enhancing the technical value of the Society; and enhancing communications. At its last meeting, the Council decided to establish a fourth subcommittee to address the financial challenges the Society is facing.
CSBE is a volunteer-run society. As the year comes to an end I wish to thank all who enthusiastically volunteered their time to organize CSBE activities in the past year, and I look forward to your continued contributions in the coming year.
The Past-President Ron Macdonald initiated the Society revitalization (strategic planning) project over a year ago. I am glad to see the completion of a well prepared report by Strive!, the consultant we hired to work on the revitalization project. The report concluded that CSBE is well positioned to create a mutually supportive network of Canadian bioengineers finding solutions for a small planet. Now we have the report in our hands, what is next? The Council has appointed committees to address three priorities identified in the report: engaging and attracting students; enhancing the Society value; and enhancing communications.
The student engagement committee is led by President-Elect Bernardo Predicala, and consists of VP (Regional) (Co-Chair), Regional Directors, and several department heads. The specific objective of this committee is to increase student activities at the university level to engage and attract students, and to encourage and support students to attend regional and national conferences. The committee will look into how to organize seminars/workshops that are tailored to students’ interests; how to provide opportunities for students to network with industry members of CSBE; how to provide financial support and other incentives for students to attend the regional and national meetings; and how to involve and engage students from other engineering disciplines.
The Society value enhancement committee is led by Vice President (Technical) Grant Clark, and consists of Chairs of CSBE Technical Committees. The specific objective of this committee is to come up with plans on how the Society may provide more effective forums for our members and professionals in related disciplines to share technical information and examine technical and professional issues of common interest, such as offering specialty or themed technical conferences and workshops; offering certified professional development and other training workshops; and hosting student design and research competitions and presentations.
The communication enhancement committee consists of Past-President Ron Macdonald and WebmasterRené Morissette. The specific objective of this committee is to foster the interest in bioengineering in all age groups. The committee will look for ways of rejuvenating the CSBE journal; publishing short stories on the website; using social networking tools, such as LinkedIn; and creating promotion video clips.
Active participation by all members is the key to the success of our society revitalization. I am sure we can count on your continued support and commitment.
I wish all the members and their families a happy holiday season!
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as President of Canadian Society for Bioengineering. First of all, I wish to thank you, the members of the society, for your confidence in me. I am counting on your continued support to make our society a better professional home for those who practice engineering in solving problems in biological systems. A sincere thank-you goes to our Past-President Ron Macdonald for leading the society so ably during 2011-2012. All council members also deserve a big thank-you for their dedication and commitment, in particular our society manager Ali Madani.
I hold a special place for CSBE in my professional heart. A colleague from another engineering department was conducting an informal survey to identify the reasons why people join professional societies. When I was asked why I joined CSBE, my answer was short: because I feel that I am part of CSBE. To her follow-up question: what were you expecting the society to offer you, my answer was: a professional home.
This is my last newsletter as President. Past President Shiv warned me it would pass too quickly and he was correct. His sage advice to get moving was also positive and helped me to work harder to try and achieve the goals I set for myself and the Society. I will review those but first a comment about a recent article. Alex Knapp, a Forbes Magazine journalist, wrote about the top ten professions for the future. These were: Math, Robotics, Health and Biotechnology, Hospitality Management, Prelaw (elderly focus), Quantum Engineering, 3D Printing Design, Liberal Arts, and Aerospace Engineering. If you were counting these, you would notice there were only 9. Amongst these gems, was Agricultural Engineering.
Past President Shiv Prasher mentioned in his article last fall that the time would pass quickly. And it has. We all struggle as volunteers to commit the time and resources required to do the job. Currently, the Society is in a relatively good financial shape in no small part due to the enormous effort put forth by the Quebec regional engineers at the 2010 joint CIGR and CSBE/SCGAB meeting in Quebec City.
And, with the strategic plan needing continuous improvement, the CSBE/SCGAB Council has embarked on a Request for Proposals (RFP) to examine a number of the main issues that our Society is facing with. A small “Strategic Planning RFP” subcommittee was struck after the last Council meeting to develop the RFP. Members of the committee include: President Ron MacDonald, Chair; President Elect, Qiang (Chong) Zhang; Industrial VP, Dennis Hodgkinson; Past President from 2009-10, Stephane Lemay; Web Master, René Morissette; and Secretary/Manager, Ali Madani.
I was contemplating the changes in technology that many of us have seen since we started our engineering careers, in my case 30 (short) years ago. We saw the introduction of desktop computers, computer controllers, robotic milking, and the use of email to transmit documents and drawings as well as a means of communications, to name a few.
I like to think I am reasonably up-to-date so I asked my 21 year old daughter Paula, in 3rd year Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, how she communicates, and the following compares our preferred communication methods:
It is always a pleasure to thank those who work so hard ahead of you. Shiv Prasher deserves thanks from the society for the effort he devoted over the past year, particularly when we were without a secretary for the fall. Thanks also (and hopefully temporarily) and good-bye from council to Saskatchewan Regional Councilor Bernardo.
Welcome to new Council Members President Elect Qiang Zhang and Saskatchewan Regional Councilor Joy Agnew. We are fortunate to have Grant Clark (Vice President Technical) and Valerie Orsat (Vice President Membership) remain on council by simply exchanging positions from last year.
“Every man (woman) owes a part of his (her) time and money to the business or industry in which he (she) is engaged. No man (woman) has a moral right to withhold his (her) support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his (her) sphere.” By Theodore Roosevelt
I am very pleased to report that everything is in place for a very successful CSBE/SCGAB Annual Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from July 10-13, 2011. The theme for the conference is “Growing Renewable Energy”. I encourage all of you to make plans to attend this conference in friendly Manitoba. I would like to thank Doug Small and Past-President, Dennis Hodgkinson, of DGH Engineering for their great help and support in taking care of the local arrangements and doing their best to make sure we have a very successful and memorable annual meeting. For program/conference information, please go to www.bioeng.ca/agm2011-program.
I wish all CSBE/SCGAB members and well-wishers the very best in 2011. It is going to be an exciting year and I am counting on your continued and full support and cooperation. Preparations are well underway to hold a very successful CSBE/SCGAB Annual Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from July 10-13, 2011. The theme for the conference is “Growing Renewable Energy”. I encourage all of you to make plans to attend this conference in very friendly Manitoba. For program/conference information, please go to www.bioeng.ca/agm2011-program.
Let me start by reiterating that I am very proud to be your President and I will do everything in my power to lead the Society in 2010-11 and make it stronger and better.
First of all, I want to thank our Past-President, Dennis Hodgkinson, for doing an excellent job as President of the Society during 2009-2010. I attended many meetings and teleconferences chaired by Dennis and I very quickly started admiring his leadership qualities, organizational skills, and clear focus. I have learnt a lot from him and I want to thank him once again on behalf of all of you for doing a splendid job as our President. We continue to look forward to his help and support as he wears a new hat as the Past-President of CSBE/SCGAB.