Each year, the CSBE/SCGAB presents Awards and Grade of Fellows to celebrate and encourage excellence within the Canadian bioengineering community. Please consider nominating a member.

Glenn Downing Award

This award is presented annually to the CSBE/SCGAB member who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee, has produced outstanding work in industry, teaching, research, or extension in the area of machinery systems, or bioenergy systems. The recipient is selected from nominations from at least three members of CSBE/SCGAB. and must have been a member of the Society for at least five years.

Ce prix est décerné chaque année à un membre qui s'est distingué dans le domaine du machinisme agricole ou en bioénergie par l'enseignement, la recherche, la vulgarisation ou le travail en industrie. Le récipiendaire du prix Glenn-Downing est choisi parmi les candidats mis en nomination par trois membres et est membre de la SCGAB/CSBE depuis au moins cinq ans.

Nomination Form

downing.rtf | downing.pdf

2021 Glenn Downing Award


Dr. Nazim Cicek, P.Eng., is nominated for the Glenn Downing Award for 2021. Nazim has spent his entire academic career (beginning in 2001) in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba. Although hired based on his doctoral expertise related to biological treatment of municipal wastewater using membrane bioreactors, Nazim has established a research program that extends beyond this initial area of expertise. His background in chemical engineering has enabled a vibrant research collaboration with a team of microbiologists who have made substantial contributions to the microbial generation of biofuels and bioproducts using various sources of biomass. Previous research projects have investigated the production of bioplastics and bio-polymers from industrial waste streams in membrane bioreactors, optimization of bio-plastic production, enhanced bioenergy production through anaerobic co-digestion of dairy manure and local organic waste streams, and production of biomass fuel pellets and other value-added products from oat hulls. Of the 27 graduate students supervised or co-supervised during his academic career, 9 have completed graduate-level research related to bioenergy systems. A total of 44 refereed journal publications relate to bioenergy systems (out of his career total of 130 refereed journal papers). In addition to his research activity in the area of microbial generation of biofuels and bioproducts, Nazim has been a strong proponent behind the establishment of a Sustainability-in-Action Facility (SiAF) in the Department of Biosystems Engineering. SiAF is envisioned as a site that will provide experiential learning and demonstration opportunities for the University of Manitoba campus in areas of sustainability including northern/urban food production, renewable energy, building practices, and utilization of waste biomass fibre. Dr. Nazim Cicek, P.Eng. is a worthy recipient of the Glenn Downing Award.



2020 Glenn Downing Award


Dr. Fahimeh Yazdan Panah  is the recipient of the 2020 Glen Downing Award for her contributions to engineering for biological systems through  her research and leadership activities.  In addition to her academic and professional qualifications, Fahimeh has demonstrated business acumen, technical expertise, and skills necessary to succeed in all of her endeavors. Fahimeh is currently Research Director for the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and a Research Associate in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia.


2019 Glenn Downing Award


Originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, Dr. Viacheslav Adamchuk obtained a mechanical engineering degree from the National Agricultural University of Ukraine in his hometown. Later, he received both MS and PhD degrees in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University. Shortly after graduating , Dr. Adamchuk began his academic career as a faculty member in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. There, he taught university students, conducted research and delivered outreach programs relevant to precision agriculture, spatial data management, and education robotics. Also he was involved in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) tractor testing program and developed a methodology to validate the accuracy of tractor auto-guidance systems. After almost ten years  in Nebraska, Dr. Adamchuk  was appointed to the  Bioresource Engineering Department at McGill University, while retaining his adjunct status at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Adamchuk’s research has focused on the development and deployment of on-the-go soil sensing technology to enhance the economic and environmental benefits of precision agriculture. Since he began his research in the mid 90s, Dr. Adamchuk developed and evaluated a fleet of on-the-go soil sensor prototypes capable of mapping physical and chemical soil attributes while moving across an agricultural field. These sensors produce geo-referenced data to quantify spatial soil heterogeneity, which may be used to prescribe differentiated soil treatments according to local needs. Along with his work on sensors, Dr. Adamchuk has conducted numeric analysis of the agro-economic value of sensor-based information to aid in the successful deployment of emerging on-the-go sensing technology. Through recent studies on soil and crop sensor fusion and data clustering, he was able to further investigate the challenges faced by early adopters. Through his outreach activities, Dr. Adamchuk has taught a number of programs dedicated to a systems approach in adopting smart farming technologies around the world. Dr,  Adamchuk is a  worthy recipient of the  Glenn Downing Award. 

2018 Glenn Downing Award


Venkatesh Meda started at the Department of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering (now, Chemical and Biological Engineering) at the University of Saskatchewan in August 2002. Prior to that, Dr. Meda worked as a Project Development Officer, Office of Vice-President, McGill University during 2000-2002. From 1994-2000, he was a graduate student and research assistant in Bioresource Engineering at McGill University. He has extensively participated in strategic discussion(s) /seminars conducted by CIDA, World Bank, Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), ICRISAT on post-harvest engineering.

Dr. Meda has a well-established research program on utilising electro-technologies for handling and processing agri-food materials. His expertise in mechanical optimization of a grape harvester and the development of a double shoot on a disc drill have received industry recognition (Case New Holland, Inc.). His collaborative initiatives with the Prairie fruit growers resulted in technology development for appropriate processing for harvesting, cleaning and drying operations which aided in revitalisation of Saskatchewan’s fruit industry.

Dr. Meda completed several research projects under the Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Network grants during 2007-2011 connecting researchers across Canada, AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), and Industry partners in bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts. For the past few years, Dr. Meda has been working in projects dealing with utilisation of electromagnetic energy for downstream processing across the value-chain; crop flow modeling; co-product utilisation in bio refineries, and most recently in the Protein Industries Canada Supercluster effort.

Dr. Meda was awarded as ‘distinguished Professor’ by Karunya University, India in 2011 and NIFTEM, Government of India (2014, 2018) for his outstanding contributions in the field of Food, Chemical & Biological Engineering. He has supervised several M.Sc./Ph.D/PDFs and published in high quality journals. Dr. Meda’s enthusiasm continues to thrive on integrating approaches to food systems ultimately addressing global food security challenges.

2017 Glenn Downing Award

donald petkau glen downingDr. Donald Petkau, P.Eng., P.Ag. is nominated for the Glenn Downing Award for 2017. Don grew up on a farm in rural Manitoba and graduated from the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Manitoba in 1985. For the first two decades of his professional career, Don worked in industry for various companies affiliated with agriculture and engineering. From an initial role as an Agricultural Manager with Rogers Sugar in Winnipeg, Don moved to the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) in Portage la Prairie as the Manager of Agricultural Research and Development. A highlight of Don’s time with PAMI was a joint research project with agricultural engineers from both the University of Manitoba and the University of Saskatchewan that investigated mechanical harvesting of sea buckthorn berries and leaves. After spending time with MESH Technologies, during which he was responsible for the design and construction of a multi-million dollar flax straw production plant as Manager of Engineering, Don discovered a passion for teaching and started the next chapter of his career as a university educator. He completed a doctoral degree in the area of engineering design education and is currently a Senior Instructor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering at the University of Manitoba where he is responsible for introducing engineering students to the engineering design process and teaching agricultural machinery courses (including courses in “precision agriculture” which he developed) to agriculture students. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Don has assumed the role of faculty advisor for the University of Manitoba’s ASABE ¼ scale tractor team (known as the University of Manitoba Association of Tiny Tractors (UMATT)). In this role, Don is able to share of his previous managerial experiences to help UMATT team members develop these important skills prior to entering the workplace.  Don Petkau is a worthy recipient of CSBE/SCGAB’s 2017 Glenn Downing Award.

Dr. Donald Petkau, P.Eng., P.Ag. est le récipiendaire du prix Glenn Downing Award de la CSBE/SCGAB pour 2017. Don a grandi sur une ferme du Manitoba. Il a obtenu son diplômé du Département de génie agricole de l'Université du Manitoba en 1985. Au cours de sa carrière professionnelle, Don a travaillé pour plusieurs entreprises œuvrant dans les domaines de l’agriculture et du génie. Après avoir débuté en tant que gestionnaire agricole pour la compagnie Rogers Sugar de Winnipeg, Don a obtenu un poste de gestionnaire de la recherche et du développement agricoles au ‘Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute’ (PAMI) à Portage la Prairie. Un point fort de la carrière de Don avec le PAMI a été un projet conjoint de recherche, avec des ingénieurs agricoles de l'Université du Manitoba et de l'Université de la Saskatchewan, qui a porté sur la mécanisation des baies et des feuilles d'argousier. Par la suite, Don a travallé pour MESH Technologies où il était responsable du service d’ingénierie charge de la conception et de la construction d'une usine de production de paille de lin de plusieurs millions de dollars. Puis, Don s’est découvert une passion pour l'enseignement et il a commencé le prochain chapitre de sa carrière en tant qu'éducateur universitaire. Il a complété son doctorat en éducation en design d'ingénierie et il est présentement instructeur sénior au Département de génie des biosystèmes de l'Université du Manitoba. Il enseigne des cours sur le processus de conception d'ingénierie, et sur les machineries agricoles (incluant un cours d’agriculture de précision qu'il a développée). Don est aussi le conseiller de l'équipe de l'Université de Manitoba (University of Manitoba Association of Tiny Tractors(UMATT)) pour la compétition de tracteurs d'échelle ¼ de l’ASABE. Don partager ses expériences de gestionnaire avec les membres de l'équipe pour les aider à développer ces compétences importantes avant d'entrer dans le monde du travail. Don Petkau est un digne récipiendaire du prix Glenn Downing 2017 de CSBE/SCGAB.