As our CSBE society continues to evolve with an array of opportunities and challenges, I am presenting here my annual report as VP (Technical) for the year 2013 to 2014.
I represented CSBE at the Engineering Institute of Canada's (EIC) general meeting held on September 22, 2013 at the University of Toronto. On behalf of CSBE, I offered to provide input and help with the work of the communications committee of EIC, and provided technical solutions for revamping their website. I also had opportunities to discuss with Murat Firat, the president of the Canadian Medical and Biological Engineering Society (CMBES) to explore potential opportunities to work together, and possibly conduct conferences or workshops together.
I also am co-chairing the local organizing committee (LOC) for the 2014 ASABE-CSBE Joint International Meeting with Dr. Valerie Orsat of McGill University. We had multiple conference meetings over phone regarding organizing and making arrangements towards the ASABE meeting. A total of 350 invitation letters were prepared and sent to the conference delegates across the world in assisting towards their Canadian visa application regarding their travel to Montreal towards the ASABE-CSBE conference. The LOC also had a meeting with Sharon McKnight and ASABE conference organizers to co-ordinate the volunteers, and assisted them with their planning and preparations for the conference.
I met with Michael Toombs, Director of the Research and Innovation Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation to liaise and raise sponsorship for the 2014 ASABE-CSBE conference. Dr. Grant Clark, Dr. Philippe Savoie and I worked together as a team, in raising additional sponsorship from MacDon Industries of Winnipeg and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ). Thanks to OMAF based at Guelph and MacDon Industries of Winnipeg for their gold level sponsorship ($5,000 each) for the CSBE-ASABE joint meeting. Thanks also due to MAPAQ for the negotiated conference registration fee arrangement, which helped them to send additional delegates to the conference. In addition, with the help of the University of Guelph, I created awareness about the society and the joint meeting with ASABE to major food manufacturing industries such as Maple Leaf Foods, PepsiCo Canada and the Ontario Poultry Council and the Grain Farmers of Ontario.
With the help of the President-elect, I also chaired the CSBE Adhoc Journal Steering Committee to explore the opportunities to enhance the operations and possibly reduce the publication time of the journal. Thanks to Dr. Ranjan, the editor of the Canadian Biosystems Engineering journal for his efforts and commitment towards the journal activities. The Adhoc committee discussed the strategies required for improving the publication time and promoting the journal through enhanced readership and enthusiastic submissions from scientific authors.
After having fairly extensive discussions with the LOC, I negotiated with the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) to publish a free advertisement regarding the joint CSBE-ASABE meeting in their May/June 2014 issue of 'Engineering Dimensions' magazine. Sponsorship and ‘Advertisement’ matters. Through these initiatives, liaisons with external agencies and fund raising, I hope to help to raise the profile of CSBE. With this, I am looking forward for the upcoming year, and the exciting 2015 CSBE conference to be held at Edmonton.