In March 2011, some conversation started with the Canadian Society of Canadian Chemical Engineering president at the time (Dr. Robert Legros) for some potential joint programs and collaborations between CSBE and CSChE. The 1st opportunity was identified to be the 62nd CSChE in Vancouver, October 14-17 2012. The theme of the conference (Energy, Environment and Sustainability) well suited the CSBE working area. After a number of meetings and conference calls with the CSChE executives and CSBE council, an MOU was signed between two societies (February 2012). Since then CSBE has started working very closely on the symposium program with Dr. Paul Watkinson, the chair of the International Symposium of Biomass and Bioenergy –which is being held parallel as the core conference program. Dr. Shahab Sokhansanj was assigned to be the co-chair of the symposium from CSBE. The announcement for paper submission for International Biomass and Bioenergy is prepared and sent out.
I have continued to aware all Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG) members of CSBE, including the new graduate students. Some new membership applications are sent to CSBE and some more will be sent shortly.
On July 1, 2010, the departments of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering and Chemical Engineering at the College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan were merged into a new Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. A Task Force was formed to define the Biological Engineering program. The Task Force’s final report will be submitted to the Dean and it will describe what is considered to be an idealized list of classes that would make up a program. Assistance from the Gwenna Moss Teaching and Learning Centre helped the committee put together a program with the goal of appealing to different types of learners and demographics of students that have not been traditionally well represented in Engineering. This program could be used as a target for future changes to our existing program depending on resources available. The search for a Dean of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan continues. Dr. Ernie Barber is Acting Dean.
Several SK CSBE members will be presenting at the 2012 CIGR International Conference of Agricultural Engineering in Valencia, Spain (Scott Noble, Bernardo Predicala, Tyrone Keep, Joy Agnew, Huiqing Guo).
For a second consecutive year, the University of Saskatchewan Sled Dogs have come in 4th place at the 2011 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, held annually in Peoria, Illinois. The 2011 tractor featured a single 31 hp Briggs and Stratton Big Block engine, CVT and transaxle from a John Deere Gator, reduced weight and a bold new look. Its most innovative features included data logging capabilities, which won the team the Campbell Scientific Award at competition, and a dynamic ballast system. The team was able to fine-tune some driveline components to finish 4th in the pulls, an improvement from 6th in 2010. The team also enhanced their writing skills to finish 3rd in the written design report. The first ever X-team to come from the U of S competed in 2011, and finished 3rd place overall. They modified the 2010 tractor, adding a roll-over protection system (ROPS), electric assist steering and actually improved pulling performance by reducing the number of engines from three 16 hp Briggs and Stratton Vanguards to two. They also blew the competition away with their oral presentation to finish 1st in the category.
The 2012 competition will again be held in Peoria, running from May 31 to June 3, 2012.
During the 2011 Fall Convocation, two graduate students received their M.Sc. in Ag/Bio Engineering (Alvin Alvarado and Crystal Rinas). Two students also convocated with a Ph.D. in Ag/Bio Engineering (Phani Adapa and Eric Veikle). At the 2012 Spring Convocation, four graduate students received their M.Sc. in Ag/Bio Engineering (Holly Annand, Binsirawanich Pana, Gao Zhu, and Sooriya Arachchilage). Phani Adapa was nominated for the CSBE graduate thesis award.
During the 2012 Spring Convocation, 11 undergraduates received their B.Sc. in Ag/Bio Engineering. Four students graduated with great distinction (Haley Bart, Matthew Petruic, Chance Peutert and Brittany Thoms) and two graduated with distinction (Kyle Smetaniuk, Graham Stuart). Evan Wolowski graduated with the Professional Communication Option. Brittany Thoms was the recipient of the Oliver L. Symes Memorial Award and Matthew Petruic earned the Clinton L. Armstrong Memorial Award. The undergraduate innovation design award went to Evan Wolowski, Graham Stuart and Matthew Petruic. The Saskatoon Engineering Society design award went to Ryan Johnson, Chance Peutert and Kyle Smetaniuk.
Manitoba Region membership roster consists of 136 members this year, out of which 83 are student members. This number is increased from 108 in 2010. A special thanks to Dr. Danny Mann for his extensive efforts to create awareness and promote our society among students. (
The CSBE/SCGAB was the one of the official supporters of the "Manitoba Heavy vehicle Technology Workshop", which was held at The Victoria Inn, Winnipeg on March 29, 2012. This workshop was conducted through a collaboration of the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, Red River College, Westest, and the Vehicle Technology Centre.
The University of Manitoba Quarter-Scale Tractor Team had a very successful showing at the 2011 IQS Competition which was hosted by ASABE in Peoria, Illinois. University of Manitoba placed second in the tractor pull and second in design judging, finishing in 5th place overall, winning the Most Improved Award. The team also won Best Appearance and Best Craftsmanship for their work on Penelope 2.0.
Dr. Ron Britton received the Champion of Engineering Education Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba. Dr. Jason Morrison received the Graduating Class Award for Excellence in Teaching from the 2011 graduating class in Biosystems Engineering. Dr. Digvir Jayas was elected as President of Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC) Board of Directors, for the year 2011-2012.
The CSBE Manitoba region continues to sponsor awards at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium. Lisa Huang (grade 9) and Megan Esguerra (grade 10) in the intermediate category with a project entitled “Save your Trash: Re-use for Gas!” and Maggie Wong (grade 7) and Nicholas Langley (grade 8) in the junior category with a project entitled “Egg-Xellent” won this year's CSBE/SCGAB awards.
Over the last year, many CSBE Québec members worked to promote and organize the venue of the Concrete for a Sustainable Agriculture symposium (CSAS). This symposium will be held at the Chateau Bonne-Entente hotel from September 18th to 21st. A total of 30 specialized conferences will be presented by speakers coming from more than 15 countries. More than 80 delegates are expected and more information can be obtained at http://www.bioeng.ca/csas2011
I have regularly attended to the council meetings over the year and took part of the various discussions pertaining to the society management. I am still working on a better link with the Québec Agricultural Engineering Association (AIAQ). In that context, to create a stronger link with the Québec Agricultural Engineering Association (AIAQ), I accepted a two years mandate as President. This association is also facing some challenges to attract new members. It appears that we have to work all together to increase the awareness of our profession.
Also, jointly with the AIAQ executive board of directors, we continue the work to do some actions to improve the capacity of the Agri-food engineering program at Laval University. So far, few meetings have been held by the AIAQ president and some other engineers at different levels as head of department and faculty dean. However, despite of all these efforts, the future of this program is not guaranteed.
Welcome to Québec city in September 2011.
Au cours de la dernière année, plusieurs membres de la SCGAB (section Québec) ont travaillé à la promotion et à l’organisation du symposium sur les bétons en agriculture qui se déroulera du 18 au 21 septembre 2011 à Québec au Château Bonne entente. Ce congrès regroupant près d’une trentaine de conférences spécialisées sur l’utilisation du béton en agriculture devrait attirer près de 80 délégués de plus de 15 pays différents. Le site http://www.bioeng.ca/csas2011est consacré à ce congrès international. De plus, après discussions avec l’Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ), ce congrès sera admissible aux heures de formation continue maintenant exigées par l’ordre.
A titre de directeur régional, j’ai également participé aux séances régulières de l’exécutif de la société. Comme indiqué dans mon rapport de l’an dernier, je voulais établir des liens plus solides avec l’Association des Ingénieur en Agroalimentaire du Québec (AIAQ). Afin de favoriser le tissage de ces liens, j’ai accepté la présidence de l’AIAQ pour un mandat de deux ans. Pour cette association, tout comme la nôtre, attirer de nouveau membres est un défi constant. Par conséquent, travailler de concert pourrait aider les deux associations à accroître leur nombre de membres.
De même, en collaboration avec les membres de l’exécutif de l’AIAQ, nous avons continué à faire des actions pour augmenter la capacité d’accueil du programme de génie agroalimentaire de l’Université Laval. À ce jour, plusieurs rencontres ont été tenues avec, entre autres, les instances du département et de la faculté. Toutefois, malgré tous nos efforts, la survie du programme n’est nullement assurée.
Finalement, je vous invite cordialement à Québec pour le symposium sur les bétons en septembre prochain.
Manitoba region has 108 members in 2010, out of which 50 are student members. This year we are planned to arrange a membership information season for Department of Biosystems Engineering students to explain the benefits of CSBE/ASABE membership. A total of 9 presentations made by the Department of Biosystems Engineering faculty and students at ASABE/CSBE North Central Inter-Sectional Conference which was held at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon on October 7-9, 2010.
The highlights of the past year included the appointment of Dr. Ernie Barber as Acting Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, effective July 1, 2010. Dr. Barber is a longtime member of CSBE and began his academic career as faculty member in the college. Effective July 1, 2010, the departments of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering and Chemical Engineering at the College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan were merged into a new Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. The new department will continue to deliver two separate undergraduate programs: Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. While no changes have been made either to the graduate and undergraduate programs as a result of the restructuring, a Task Force has been formed with mandate to help define the presence of Biological Engineering within the College. The initial phase of the work of the Task Force has been completed, with recommendations to pursue a broad-based Biological Engineering program in the College.
The membership roster listed 116 members with Saskatchewan address who paid membership dues for the past year. This number is up slightly from 106 in the previous year; more interestingly, a total of 81 members renewed their membership from previous year, about 26 dropped out, and 35 new members signed up or re-activated their previously inactive membership.
CBE Department highlights
The CBE Department hosted the 2010 ASABE/CSBE North Central Inter-Sectional Conference held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on October 17-19, 2010. A total of about 35 technical papers were presented by faculty, staff, and students from the University of Saskatchewan, University of Manitoba, North Dakota State University, and South Dakota State University.
The University of Saskatchewan Sled Dogs ¼ Scale Tractor Team placed 4th overall in a field of over 20 competitors at the ASABE ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in Peoria, IL, last June 2010. The Sled Dogs won awards for Best Manufacturability, Best Appearance, Best Craftsmanship, and Best for Safety Consideration.
During the 2011 Spring Convocation, fourteen (14) undergraduate students from the Department will convocate with a degree in Agriculture and Bioresource Engineering, one with Great Distinction (Nicholas Allen Hall) and 2 with Distinction honours (Chantal Quesnel, Danielle Nicole Quesnel).
Additionally, the Oliver L. Symes Memorial Award will be conferred to Nicholas Allen Hall for garnering the top honours from among the graduands in the Department, while Chantal Quesnel will receive the Clinton L. Armstrong Memorial Award for being the top graduand with courses in the area of soil and water engineering.
Under the theme “Refining Technology for Biomass Conversion: Conventional Products through
Unconventional Approaches”, the Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN) recently held their 2nd Annual Strategic Retreat at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The event, which began with an informal networking reception on Sunday November 7th, was attended by 125 delegates including senior industry representatives and government officials as well as expert researchers from Alberta, across Canada, the US, and Europe. In addition to widespread representation from the forestry, agriculture, oil and gas, and chemical manufacturing sectors, there was a notable presence of smaller renewable energy companies and technology developers. Increased participation of major forest and energy companies was a direct result of the BCN’s strategy in 2010 to engage these sectors.