Friday, 25 March 2011 16:31

A Few Words From President Shiv Prasher

ShivI 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.


The Joint ASABE and CSBE/SCGAB Annual Conference will be held in Montreal, Quebec in 2014. The dates for the joint meeting, however, have not been finalized yet. We will be meeting with NABEC in 2012. Most likely, the joint meeting will be held in Ontario although no specific location has been identified at this time. CSBE/SCGAB is also joining hands with the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) by co-sponsoring the Climate Change Technology Conference (CCTC) in Montreal in 2013. The conference date is yet to be decided.

The Saskatchewan situation is evolving. An interim report has been released by Dean Ernie Barber which is in favour of further evaluation of the biological engineering program at the university and a task force is presently looking at the concept for this new program. I had requested Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research), University of Manitoba, to meet with the Task Force. He is meeting with them on Monday, February 14, 2011. Vice-President (Industry), also CCBE/SCGAB Past-President, Dennis Hodgkinson, is also meeting with the Task Force on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. The University of Saskatchewan is the first university in Canada to grant degrees in Agricultural Engineering in 1925 and this represented the formal beginnings of the agricultural engineering profession in Canada. The existence and viability of the Biological Engineering program at the university, with a wide ranging program in agricultural engineering education and outreach activities, is, therefore, very important for Canada and CSBE/SCGAB.

I had the distinct honour and the privilege to thank in-person the Organizing Committee of the 2010 CSBE/CIGR Conference and recognize all members of the Committee by holding a reception at the IRDA headquarters in Quebec City on January 28, 2011. CSBE had hosted this very successful event for the first time and we all would agree that the local arrangements were first-class and over 700+ conference attendees were greatly impressed by the venue, the friendly people of Quebec City, and the overall efficiency and organization of the Conference. The Society is very thankful to Stephane Godbout, Stephane Lemay, Philippe Savoie, and their very energetic and tireless team of CSBE members and supporters who worked extremely hard to make this Conference a big Success. CSBE/SCGAB is truly humbled by their strong support and commitment.

As you are all aware, the CSBE/SCGAB Council had decided to do things differently after our past CSBE Manager, Jim Townsend, had decided to step-down as of August 31, 2010. It was decided to hire a Society Manager who will spend 100% of his/her time on promoting our profession and delegate routine clerical duties such as publication of the journal, the Newsletter, collection of membership dues, banking, etc. to another person/outfit. The search for a Society manager is on. A sub-committee, consisting of President-Elect, Ron Macdonald, Stephane Godbout, Anne-Marie Chapman, and myself, has been formed to expedite the search. In the interim, Dr. Robert Kok and Dr. Stephane Lemay of Institut de recherche et de développement en agroenvironnement (IRDA) have helped us to run the Society and I thank them wholeheartedly for their assistance. I realize that things are moving somewhat slowly as this new transition is taking place but please be assured that this is temporary and things will begin to flow smoothly very soon.

We are living in very exciting times. While our profession seems to be facing tougher challenges in Canada, I see this as an opportunity for all bioengineers. We need to proactively increase our visibility in the public media and society in general by informing them about the importance of bioengineering in Canada. They need to know that bioengineers are trained professionals that are well qualified to work in areas such as Bioenvironmental Engineering, Soil and Water engineering, Food, Bioprocess and Post-Harvest Engineering, Ecological Engineering, and Agricultural Engineering. This will not only increase our influence in organizations like ASABE, EIC, and AIC, and other governmental agencies, but also go a long way in retaining members, regain former members, and add new members.

As we move forward, I am counting on the collective wisdom and continued support of the membership.

Shiv Prasher
President, CSBE/SCGAB




ShivJe tiens tout d’abord à souhaiter à tous les membres et sympathisants de la CSBE/SCGAB le meilleur pour 2011. Cette année sera passionnante et je compte sur votre appui et votre coopération habituels. Les préparatifs sont actuellement en cours pour tenir une conférence annuelle réussie à Winnipeg, Manitoba, entre les 10 et 13 juillet 2011. Le thème de cette conférence sera l’énergie renouvelable. Je vous encourage à y participer en grand nombre. L’ensemble de l’information relative à la conférence ainsi que le programme se trouvent à l’adresse : www.bioeng.ca/agm2011-program.

Une conférence conjointe entre l’ASABE et la CSBE/SCGAB se tiendra à Montréal, Québec, en 2014. Les dates de cette rencontre n’ont cependant pas encore été déterminées. En 2012, une conférence conjointe avec NABEC aura lieu. Cette rencontre conjointe se tiendra très probablement en Ontario, mais aucun endroit spécifique n'a été identifié pour le moment. La CSBE/SCGAB s’associe également avec l'Institut canadien des ingénieurs (ICI) en co-parrainant la Conférence sur les technologies du changement climatique (CCTC) à Montréal en 2013. La date de cette conférence devrait être déterminée sous peu.

Pendant ce temps, la situation à l’Université de la Saskatchewan évolue. Un rapport intérimaire produit par le doyen Ernie Barber est en faveur d'une évaluation approfondie du programme de génie biologique à l'université et un groupe de travail évalue actuellement le concept de ce nouveau programme. J'ai invité Dr Digvir Jayas, vice-président (recherche) de l’Université du Manitoba, à rencontrer le groupe de travail. Cette rencontre a eu lieu le 14 février 2011. Le vice-président (industrie), aussi président-passé de la CCBE/SCGAB, Dennis Hodgkinson, a également rencontré le groupe de travail le mercredi 16 février 2011. L'Université de la Saskatchewan a été la première université au Canada à décerner des diplômes en génie rural en 1925, coïncidant avec le commencement formel de la profession au Canada. L'existence et la viabilité du programme de génie biologique à l'Université, avec un programme étendu en génie agricole est donc très importante pour le Canada et la CSBE/SCGAB.

Par ailleurs, j'ai eu l'honneur et le privilège de remercier en personne le comité organisateur de la conférence CSBE/CIGR de 2010 et de reconnaitre le travail des membres du comité organisateur lors d’une réception qui a eu lieu dans les locaux de l'IRDA à Québec, Québec, le 28 janvier 2011. La CSBE a été l’hôte de cet événement pour la première fois et tous conviendront que l’organisation était de grande qualité. Plus de 700 participants ont assisté à la conférence et ont été considérablement impressionnés par la ville, ses habitants et par l'efficacité globale et l'organisation de l’environnement, du sol et de l'hydraulique, de l’alimentation, des bioprocédés et technologies de récolte, de l’écologique et du génie agricole. Cette visibilité augmentera non seulement notre influence dans les organismes comme l’ASABE, l’ICI, l’AIC et d'autres instances gouvernementales, mais elle aura également un impact sur la rétention des membres, le retour d’anciens membres et le recrutement de nouveaux membres.

Alors que nous allons de l’avant, je compte sur la sagesse collective et l'appui continu des membres de la société.

Shiv Prasher
Président, CSBE/SCGAB

Read 13102 times Last modified on Friday, 25 March 2011 16:37
Shiv Prasher

Dr. Shiv O. Prasher is Chair and Professor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering at Macdonald Campus of McGill University. He has been a member of the McGill teaching staff since 1983. Dr. Prasher has established a very strong research program in soil and water engineering over the last ten years.

Shiv is the 2010-2011 CSBE/SCGAB President.

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