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.
This year we are very fortunate to have a full slate of candidates for the Executive Council positions that are up for renewal. Nearly all of these positions are contested, which requires that you cast your electronic ballot in this year’s election to choose that people that will represent you on the Council. For a very few there might be only a single candidate, in which case your ratifying vote is required. Active elections are exciting because they are an opportunity for us to directly influence the governance and renewal of our Society.
You will receive a voting token early next week from the Electionbuddy mailing system. Please carefully consider the candidates that are presented and vote early! The poll will close at the AGM in Halifax and the new Council will be announced at that time.
Thank you in advance for your participation in your Society’s electoral process!
My garden has been making me think. Spring is a time of change and opportunity. My Gran taught me that if I put seeds in the ground now, they might grow into something yummy. If I don’t get around to planting anything, well, no fresh salad. Change and opportunity…
The Engineering Institute of Canada wishes to honour Governor General David Johnston for his many services to engineers and the engineering profession in Canada.
David Johnston completed his university studies with distinction with AB from Harvard, 1963; LLB from Cambridge, 1965 and LLB from Queen’s, 1966. His academic specializations are securities regulation, corporation law and communications law.
From 1979 to 1994, he was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. During his tenure, his influence and contribution towards engineering resulted in:
In 1999, he took office as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo. During his tenure he was responsible for:
David Johnston is the author/co-author of 20 books. He was the founding Chair of the National Roundtable on Environment and the Economy. He has chaired a number of Advisory Councils, Blue Ribbon Panels and Canadian institutes for advanced research on behalf of the Federal government.
Considering his significant contributions in support of Canadian engineers and the profession of engineering in Canada, the Engineering Institute of Canada and its Member Societies consider it an honour to name David Johnston an Honorary Member of the Institute.
For outstanding and distinctive service to engineering and the profession of engineering in Canada, the Engineering Institute of Canada recognizes David Johnston as Honorary Member.
The role of President is sometimes likened to that of ship’s captain. The captain is in charge of day to day operations on the vessel. S(he) interprets the directives from the ship’s owners, makes decisions about how to implement those directives, and conveys orders to the crew. On the surface, a president’s role may seem similar, but in a democratic organization there is a curious difference: the ship’s owners are all the members of the organization, including the crew themselves! The president’s role in such a society is to try to understand the will of the entire membership and translate those ideas into action. But even the task of understanding and implementing the will of the membership can’t be done well by a single person. Just as a captain can’t hope to run a ship without a good crew, one person does not comprise an executive committee. Fortunately, the CSBE-SCGAB has an excellent crew on deck and the results are apparent. What follows is evidence of some of the good work of your executive committee. It is an incomplete list in no particular order and I must emphasize that every member of the committee, whether they are mentioned here by name or not, is valued and appreciated.
Our Annual General Meeting and Technical Conference in Edmonton is on the launch pad and ready to rocket skyward! Rick Atkins and his energetic team have toiled diligently to build a great program of technical and social activities. The turbulent and uncertain economy has restricted travel budgets for many of us but, nevertheless, the meeting is shaping up to be a dynamic one. Make sure that you are registered for this flagship event!
The efforts of Editor Sri Ranjan, Associate Editors, Reviewers and Technical Committee in modernizing the operations of the Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal are paying off. This success is shown by dramatically shorter review and publication times (printed on the articles themselves) and rebounding submission numbers. The online, open-source CBEJ is now well positioned to thrive, especially considering statements by NSERC and other government funding agencies that they will require all publications from research that they support to be freely available to the public.
Vice-Presidents Regional, Fahimeh Yazdanpanah (outgoing) and Chella Vellaichamy (incoming) are working together with the Regional Directors to revitalize the grassroots activities of the society across the country. My vision is to have a small, informal committee in each region that supports local CSBE-SCGAB activities and catalyzes new ones. The committees provide continuity, “corporate memory”, and a sustained level of activity and enthusiasm. This revitalization can be a challenging task that requires the engagement of many people at the regional level, and it is progressing more rapidly in some regions than in other. This is a good entrance to the society’s activities for members looking to become more involved.
The membership of the CSBE-SCGAB is stable in a time when small, volunteer-run societies everywhere struggle to remain viable. This is due in large part to efforts spearheaded by our conscientious V.P. Membership, Harry Huffman. Membership numbers in the CSBE-SCGAB, as I’ve written elsewhere, are not for me an end in themselves. They are, however, one piece of evidence of to show that the members value the organization and that they feel engaged in and informed about the society. Harry is instrumental in making sure that this is the case.
Our linkages with sister organizations, particularly the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) are strong and mutually valuable. We should work to cultivate those friendships and we will both strengthen those organizations and enjoy the rewards. Please see my recent report to Council for details about how you can become engaged with those organizations.
I will close this report by appealing once again to you, personally, to invest in your society. You can do this in small ways, as your time allows, by becoming involved with your local committee and Regional Director. You could alternatively choose a bigger role by volunteering on any of a number of committees at the national level, or even standing for election to an executive position. It is up to us to come together to strengthen and reinvent the way that we live and work together. No one else can do this for us as well as we can do it for ourselves, if we only make the effort.
Preparations for the Annual General Meeting and Technical Conference in Edmonton are full steam ahead! Rick Atkins and his amazing team have put together a full slate of technical presentations, workshops suitable for professional development credit, and social events. The meeting will take place at the Delta Edmonton South from July 5-8, 2015. Come and join with your colleagues to enrich your professional lives, see what your old friends are up to, and network with some new ones! (www.csbe-scgab.ca/edmonton2015)
Time flies like an arrow”, as they say, (and “Fruit flies like a banana!”) The past several months have slipped by quickly and the New Year is upon us! Our priority as a society remains the delivery of value to our membership through our meetings, publications, and organizational linkages.
Dear Potential Authors and Presenters
This is to inform you that the deadline for submission of Abstracts for the 2015 Climate Change Technology Conference (CCTC2015) to be held at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royalin Montreal in May 2015 has been moved to October 15, 2014.
For more information on the conference, please visit: http://www.cctc2015.ca/Page2.html
Peter Ozemoyah (PhD)
(Chairman Publicity Subcommittee, CCTC2015)
For those of us who like a challenge, there has never been a better time to be alive! Humanity is facing some of the most "wicked" challenges in our existence. These challenges are intimately entwined with issues of biology and technology. Over the next few decades, the human race will transition out of our current brief but explosive phase of growth in population and resource consumption. We must find a way to squeeze humanity’s growing demand for food, fiber, and fuel within the Earth’s capacity for sustainable production, while maintaining the health and diversity of the biosphere. Now and going forward we are determining, by our decisions and actions, whether the transition to sustainability will be smooth and pleasant or abrupt and unpleasant. To tip the scales in favor of a pleasant transition will require the efforts of very many clever people who understand both biology and technology. Fortunately, those are just the kind of people who form the membership of the Canadian Society for Bioengineering.
I am excited to move into the role of President of CSBE/SCGAB in the coming year; I look forward to working with the excellent team of incumbent and incoming council members to help move the society forward. There has never been a more exciting time to work in agricultural and biological engineering! As a global society we face some of the most “wicked” challenges that humanity has ever confronted: how to sustainably provide more than 7 billion souls with food, bioproducts, and energy while preserving and restoring the health of the environment. Meeting these challenges will require many smart people that are fluent in both biology and technology. Fortunately, those are exactly the kind of people that are members of our professional society!
In my role during the past year as President Elect of the CSBE/SCGAB, I have been mandated to serve in a variety of capacities and committees. The President Elect is also tasked with forward planning to deal with short and long-term concerns to CSBE/SCGAB in areas such as publicity, services, programs, student involvement, promotion of regional activities, relations with affiliate societies, and policy.
René Morissette (CSBE/SCGAB Webmaster) and I implemented an online tool (electionbuddy) to make the nomination and election process more transparent and to facilitate greater involvement by the whole membership. I encourage you to actively participate in the nomination and election of your representatives on the CSBE/SCGAB Council and to become involved yourself.
I assisted President Predicala and Past-President Zhang with the perennial task of reviewing and updating the ByLaws and Operating Manual of the society. These important documents can be found on the society’s website (www.csbe-scgab.ca).
I have also been involved with the ongoing restructuring and improvement of the society’s journal, Canadian Biosystems Engineering (csbe-scgab.ca/publications/cbe-journal). Editor Sri Ranjan has moved the journal to an entirely online, open-access platform and is working hard to reduce manuscript review times and increase exposure. Your assistance in this work, as an editor, reviewer, or author, would be invaluable.
I continue to help represent the CSBE/SCGAB with the Engineering Institute of Canada and have participated in several meetings of their council on behalf of the society. The EIC is an association of all Canadian engineering societies that advocates the values and benefits of the engineering profession to the public and to government. As part of the CSBE/SCGAB’s involvement with EIC, we are once again helping to support and organize the Climate Change Technology Conference, the next of which will be held in Montreal in the summer of 2015. To become involved in the CCTC 2015, see the website at www.cctc2015.ca.
Being located in Montreal, I have observed first-hand the involvement of the CSBE/SCGAB in the organization of the upcoming Joint International Meeting together with our sister society, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (www.asabemeetings.org). The conference will be held on July 13-16 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Over 1500 delegates from around the world will come together to discuss current issues in biological and agricultural engineering and related areas. CSBE/SCGAB members from around the province of Quebec and across the country have pulled together to organize events and tours that showcase local culture and technology. Plan to join your colleagues in the beautiful, cosmopolitan city of Montreal and savour the opportunity to network, learn, and enjoy the many activities that are available. I hope to see you there!
The 2014 ASABE - CSBE|SCGAB Joint Annual International Meeting in Montreal is a platform to promote your organization to a global audience! The Conference will be held in the Palais des congres de Montreal in Montreal, Quebec Canada beginning Sunday, July 13 thru Wednesday, July 16, 2014. This event presents a forum to expand awareness of current industry trends, promote and acknowledge innovations in design and technology, and provide opportunities for professional development – all with a focus on the economic, political and societal impacts facing the industry.