Manitoba Regional News

Warren Blunt, Senthilkumar Thiruppathi, Chelladurai Vellaichamy (PhD students) have been awarded Edward R. Toporeck Graduate Fellowship for Excellence in Engineering. Chelladurai Vellaichamy (PhD student) has been awarded W.E. Muir Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Biosystems Engineering.

Congratulations to award winners!

Thursday, 13 March 2014 09:22

Honduras Project 2014

(Photo by: John Sherk)

Dr. Kris Dick, Associate Professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering just returned with his student group from working on a project in rural Honduras. This is an annual project that he leads with a group called Students For Sustainability. A total of 12 students from Biosystems, Civil, Nursing and Architecture worked at an elementary school on a rainwater collection system, water filtration system, irrigation for a school garden, teaching classes in health and other construction projects. Students stay with local families to gain some insight into life in Honduras. All elements of the project were designed by the students over the fall term on their own time working with Dr. Dick and his graduate student Garry Enns. They are already planning for next year's project. 


(Photos by: Jonathan van Leeuwen)

Thursday, 13 March 2014 09:15

New commitments for Dr. Digvir S. Jayas

Dr. Digvir S. Jayas was invited as a Chief Guest at the Applied Zoologist Research Association (AZRA) Silver Jubilee Conference at Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack, India.  During his remarks he emphasized the importance of biosciences in alignment with the Conference theme “Probing Biosciences for Food Security and Environmental Safety”.  He also made a presentation entitled “Role of biotic factors in stored-grain ecosystems”.

Dr. Digvir S. Jayas has been reappointed as Vice-President (Research and International) effective July 1, 2014, for a five-year term ending June 30, 2019. Dr. Jayas has served the University of Manitoba with distinction as Vice-President (Research and International) since 2009, leading a research enterprise that annually attracts almost $160 million in sponsored research income.

Dr. Digvir S. Jayas has been appointed as a member of the council of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for three years beginning December 17, 2013. NSERC Council members represent the academic research and private sector communities in the natural sciences and engineering. The Council works to achieve the maximum strategic impact for Canada from the expenditure of public funds and to advance Canada’s research and development agenda.


Manitoba section of CSBE, Biosystems Engineering Graduate Students’ Association (BEGSA), CSBE Undergraduate Student Chapter, Manitoba section and Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba jointly organized an “Orientation and Networking BBQ” for new graduate and under graduate students on October 1st, 2013.

The total attendance for this event was 94, which include graduate and under graduate students, academic members of department of biosystems engineering and industry members. The session started with the introduction to department of biosystems engineering to the new students by Dr. Danny Mann, followed by a presentation about academic writing and publication by Dr. Sri Ranjan, Editor, Canadian Biosystems Engineering.  Chella Vellaichamy, Manitoba regional director distributed membership applications to the new students. A total of 22 new students attended this orientation program. Other students in the department of biosystems engineering, academic staffs and industrial members joined with them for the BBQ event at 6:30 pm.  

The key item on the menu was chicken prepared using the “secret biosystems engineering recipe" and most of the participants appreciated the return of this recipe in biosystems engineering BBQ events. Students interacted with academic as well as industrial members during this session. All enjoyed the interaction with fellow students and staffs in the warm indoor facility on a cold, windy evening with nice food. Most of the people stayed till 8:30 pm, and slowly disbursed to watch Winnipeg Jets season opener game against Edmonton Oilers. CSBE Manitoba region want to thank the executive members of CSBE Undergraduate Student Chapter, Manitoba section and Biosystems Engineering Graduate Students’ Association (BEGSA) for their help in organizing this orientation and networking BBQ. 

Digvir S. Jayas, Vice President (Research and International), University of Manitoba, was invited by an UK based organization (SciDev.net) to write an opinion piece regarding grain storage.  This article may be of an interest to many CSBE members and is available on the following link:


Saturday, 14 September 2013 23:30

Manitoba Regional News – Summer 2013

News from Department of Biosystems Engineering

Four members of the Department teaching staff have reached milestones in their service to the University of Manitoba. Don Petkau has been with the University of Manitoba for 5 years in his position of Instructor. Jitendra Paliwal has reached 10 years of service. Both Ying Chen and Danny Mann have reached 15 years of service.

Joe Ackerman, Nazim Cicek and Jan Oleszkiewicz received an ASABE Superior Paper Award for their paper entitled “Anaerobic fermentation of pig manure to increase phosphorus removal by struvite precipitation.”

Kris Dick led a student team to Honduras to work on sustainable living project there in February 2013. A new home, rainwater harvesting and filtration system, a new stove, water storage and latrine were constructed over a twelve-day period. In February Kris presented a paper at the Non-Conventional Materials conference in Brazil that highlighted work at the Alternative Village on hempcrete buildings. He also knows what it is like to be stung by a jellyfish and does not recommend the experience. From April to June, Kris was a visiting researcher at the University of Bath in England. The focus of his work there was the durability of strawbale wall systems and the use of natural binders for use in hempcrete. 


“What is Biosystems Engineering?”

One common question we face whenever we meet new person is “What is Biosystems engineering?”, and most of us always has a question in our mind, “How do people perceive Biosystems or Biological Engineering?” An attempt was made by Department of Biosystems Engineering to find the answers for these questions. Over the summer, a YouTube video was prepared, in an attempt to bring greater awareness to the profession of Biosystems Engineering. Watch it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Plc6mpwgKc

Tuesday, 18 June 2013 12:00

Manitoba Regional News - Spring 2013

Totally 16 Biosystems engineering under-graduate students received their B.Sc. (BioE) degrees at the Spring 2013 convocation. With the new specialization option, 3 graduated with the Biomedical Specialization, 5 with the Environmental Specialization, and 1 with the Agricultural Specialization.

Shawn Wiebe won this years’ Faculty of Engineering Program Medal in Biosystems Engineering.

Idris Ademuyiwa Adelakun,  Leno Jose Guzman Quinonez, Maria Anastasia Mastorakos and Charles Chioma Nwaizu received their M.Sc. degrees and Joe Nelson Ackerman, Robert Vaughan Parsons, and   Mohammad Al-Amin Sadek received their Ph.D. degrees at the May 2013 Convocation.

Awards and Scholarships

Saravanan Nandhagopal (PhD student) has been awarded Edward R. Toporeck Graduate Fellowship for Excellence in Engineering. Marcos Cordeiro, and Senthilkumar Thiruppathi (PhD students) have been awarded W.E. Muir Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Biosystems Engineering.

Amy La, Behzad Bashiri, Chelladurai Vellaichamy and Ravikanth Lankapalli, graduate students from the department of Biosystems Engineering have been awarded University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship (UMGF). Congratulations to award winners!

Manitoba Schools Science Symposium

The CSBE Manitoba Region continued its effort to create awareness about biological engineering to school students through sponsoring awards at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium held on April 27th at the University of Manitoba. 

Tooba Razi, grade 7 student won the Biosystems Engineering award in intermediate category for her project “Effect of blade angle on wind turbine efficiency”.


Keisha Mendoza, Grade 11student won senior category award for the project entitled “An A’peeling way to filter water: The banana peel water filter”.




Monday, 25 March 2013 11:01

Manitoba Regional News - Winter 2013

CSBE Membership Information Session


Manitoba section of CSBE, Biosystems Engineering Graduate Students’ Association (BEGSA) and Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba jointly organized a “membership information session” for graduate and under graduate students on March 1st, 2013. Totally 28 graduate and under graduate students attended this session. The session started with lunch and refreshments, along with informal conversation with Dennis Hodgkinson, President, DGH Engineering, and Vice- President (Industries), CSBE, Dr. Qiang Zhang, Professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering and President, CSBE and Dr. Danny Mann, Head, Department of Biosystems Engineering. Dennis delivered a guest speech about potential employment opportunities for biosystems engineers, and importance of professional networking through CSBE for their professional development and job search. Dr. Zhang talked about CSBE membership and its benefits, and Dr. Mann, Head, Department of Biosystems Engineering explained about the benefits of CSBE membership during their student life and importance of continuing with our society after graduation. Students were actively involved in the conversation about our society’s role in their career development, and expressed their expectations from CSBE. Most of the students indicated that, similar kind of industry networking events through CSBE in regular basis will help to increase the value of our society and also improve students’ involvement in our society activities. Some student showed their interest to become members of CSBE and new member applications were distributed. The whole session lost for about two hours, and ended with a small gift to Dennis from BEGSA and CSBE. The students expressed that, the session helped them to understand the CSBE membership benefits and the role of professional network for their carrier development. From our society point of view, we felt that this session really helped us to understand students’ expectation from our society and the way to improve student engagement in our society activities. I want to express my sincere thanks to Warren Blunt, President, BEGSA and Dr. Mann for their help in organizing this information session.

Department of Biosystems Engineering News

Dr. Digvir Jayas was invited to present a Keynote address during the International Conference of Agricultural Engineering organized by Sultan Quaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman on February 24-26, 2013; his talk was entitled “Preserving ingredients for producing high quality food products.”

Dr. Myron (Ron) Britton officially retired as a Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba on December 31, 2012. As of January 1, 2013 he became a Senior Scholar in the Faculty, an appointment that provides him with an on-campus office and allows him to maintain his involvement with teaching and research.


Thursday, 20 December 2012 09:52

Manitoba Regional News - Fall 2012

News from the University of Manitoba Biosystems Engineering Department

Dr. David Levin will be returning from a 6-month research leave effective January 1, 2013.

Dr. Kris Dick will begin a 6-month research leave on January 1, 2013.


Undergraduate student, Grace Kankindi, received 2nd place in the Applied Sciences Category of the 2012 NSERC Undergraduate Research Poster Competition at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. Grace worked under the guidelines of Dr. Sri Ranjan during the summer of 2012.

The Department of Biosystems Engineering has admitted 35 new undergraduate students to the Biosystems Engineering program to start the 2012-2013 academic year.

Several staff members have reached milestones in terms of service to the Universityof Manitoba. David Levin – 5 years; Jason Morrison – 5 years; Nazim Cicek – 10 years; Derek Inglis – 10 years; and Robert Lavallee – 30 years.

The Department of Biosystems Engineering has admitted 35 new undergraduate students to the Biosystems Engineering program to start the 2012-2013 academic year.

Several staff members have reached milestones in terms of service to the University of Manitoba. David Levin – 5 years; Jason Morrison – 5 years; Nazim Cicek – 10 years; Derek Inglis – 10 years; and Robert Lavallee – 30 years.

Dr.Stefan Cenkowski was awarded the “2012 CSBE Fellow”, and Dr.Jitendra Paliwal was recognized with the “Young Engineer of the year” award for their outstanding contributions to the agricultural, food and biological engineering at the CSBE/SCGAB-NABEC Joint Conference,Orillia,ON.

Idris Adelakun, M.Sc. student in Biosystems Engineering, received a First Place Poster Competition Award at the CSBE/SCGAB-NABEC Joint Conference, Orillia, ON for the poster entitled "Design of a Reusable Multilevel-TDR Probe for Measuring Soil Water Content."

Nathan Bartel, Jayaru Pallimulla Geeganage, Stacey Hildebrand, Vanessa Krahn, Amy La won “Undergraduate design project award”, Amy La was awarded with the “Best undergraduate thesis” and Mahesh Sivakumar won “Best Graduate thesis award” at the CSBE/SCGAB-NABEC Joint Conference,Orillia,ON.

 Idris Adelakun, M.Sc student in Biosystems Engineering, received a Second Place Poster Competition Award at the Manitoba Soil Science Society Annual General Meeting inWinnipeg,MB on February 3 for the poster entitled "Design of a Multilevel Time Domain Reflectometry Probe for Measuring Soil Water Content at Different Depths." 

“ASABE ¼ Scale Tractor Competition” – Report from the University of Manitoba’s team

The first day, Thursday, was hectic. It rained with cold gusty winds all day. Thank goodness we had the awning and tent and a few tarps to help keep a little dry. But the only way you could warm up was under the hand dryers in the washroom. Most days we stayed at the grounds from around 7am until 10pm. We missed tech'ing in our original time slot in order to finish the tractor for tech'ing first thing Friday morning.

Friday was better. More sunshine. Got through tech with few issues. And design judging and maneuverability went well.

Saturday we did some practice pulls and ended up twisting our stainless steel frame during the actual unballasted pull. So Saturday evening we stayed at the grounds until 11pm reinforcing the frame. Thank goodness we had a little wiggle room for weight. We also helped out a couple other teams, and thank goodness we did because they were able to participate in the ballasted pulls on Sunday.

Sunday we did both ballasted pulls. And the "guts" pull, which means you put as much weight and ballast on and try to break the tractor. We ended up twisting the frame so much that it sat on the front axle, and we seemed to have challenged our front differential as it has been clicking ever since.

Overall we placed 12th out of 27 registered teams. We placed 10th in the written report an improvement from last year but still an area we hope to improve on.  We placed 22nd in the presentation. Obviously that is the area requires a considerable work next year.  We placed 13th in design judging and 7th in maneuverability (a significant improvement from last year when we were eliminated for going over the time limit).  The best result was 4th in the pulls. 


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