Tuesday, 19 June 2012 10:16

Annual Report from Vice-President Technical Grant Clark

The 2012 Annual General Meeting and Technical Conference will be held from the 15th to 18th of July in Orillia, Ontario. We are very pleased that this year’s meeting will be held in conjunction with the 2012 Northeast Agricultural and Biological Engineering Conference. This is a natural union, since the two organizations overlap strongly in terms of interests, geography, and membership in Central and Eastern Canada and the U.S. Northeast. I would personally like to thank Stacey Chirnside and the NABEC Technical Committee for their enthusiastic commitment to the development of the excellent technical program this year. I would also like to recognize the joint Local Arrangements Committee, which has been working hard to prepare the wonderful venue and entertaining social events.

Four workshops will kick off the conference on Sunday, 15th June. In the morning there will be workshops about Biomass Crop Production for Energy, presented by Tim Rennie of the University of Guelph, and On-farm Anaerobic Digesters for Energy, by Jake DeBruyn of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. In the afternoon, there will be workshops about the Design of Composting Facilities for Municipal Organic Waste Management, organized by Susan Antler of the Compost Council of Canada, and Nanotechnology in Agriculture, Food and Biological Systems, by Dr. Suresh Neethirajan of the University of Guelph.

Monday and Tuesday will be filled with concurrent technical sessions showcasing presentations in NABEC’s trademark 10-minute format and also in the 15-minute CSBE/SCGAB format, as well as dozens of posters.

As always, there will be a strong student presence at the conference, including many presentations and posters by up-and-coming researchers, and award competitions for graduate student presentations and posters. Winners of the graduate thesis awards and undergraduate student report and design project awards will be honored at the conference.

The conference will wind up on Wednesday with tours, organized by the Local Arrangements Committee, to sites of technical and cultural interest.

I will investigate the possibility of reanimating the larger Technical Committee of the CSBE/SCGAB in the coming year, as described in the Bylaws and Procedures and Operations Manual of the Society. This committee is chaired by the VP Membership Chair and includes the Past-Chair, a Vice-Chair, Secretary, and seven additional CSBE/SCGAB members. The Technical Committee provides expertise to editor of the society journal (Canadian Biosystems Engineering), and also works with the Local Arrangement Committee to develop and conduct the technical program for the Annual Meeting.

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Grant Clark

Grant grew up on a mixed farm in Central Alberta. He received an industry-cooperative B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Alberta, Edmonton (1993) and a Ph.D. in Biosystems Engineering from McGill University, Montreal (2000). Grant then worked as a Research Associate and Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta until coming to McGill in 2007. His research program in ecological engineering involves the use of computational tools and physical systems to study how ecosystems can be designed, created and managed so as to provide services and solutions.

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