The highlights of the past year included the appointment of Dr. Ernie Barber as Acting Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, effective July 1, 2010. Dr. Barber is a longtime member of CSBE and began his academic career as faculty member in the college. Effective July 1, 2010, the departments of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering and Chemical Engineering at the College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan were merged into a new Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. The new department will continue to deliver two separate undergraduate programs: Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. While no changes have been made either to the graduate and undergraduate programs as a result of the restructuring, a Task Force has been formed with mandate to help define the presence of Biological Engineering within the College. The initial phase of the work of the Task Force has been completed, with recommendations to pursue a broad-based Biological Engineering program in the College.
The membership roster listed 116 members with Saskatchewan address who paid membership dues for the past year. This number is up slightly from 106 in the previous year; more interestingly, a total of 81 members renewed their membership from previous year, about 26 dropped out, and 35 new members signed up or re-activated their previously inactive membership.
CBE Department highlights
The CBE Department hosted the 2010 ASABE/CSBE North Central Inter-Sectional Conference held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on October 17-19, 2010. A total of about 35 technical papers were presented by faculty, staff, and students from the University of Saskatchewan, University of Manitoba, North Dakota State University, and South Dakota State University.
The University of Saskatchewan Sled Dogs ¼ Scale Tractor Team placed 4th overall in a field of over 20 competitors at the ASABE ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition in Peoria, IL, last June 2010. The Sled Dogs won awards for Best Manufacturability, Best Appearance, Best Craftsmanship, and Best for Safety Consideration.
During the 2011 Spring Convocation, fourteen (14) undergraduate students from the Department will convocate with a degree in Agriculture and Bioresource Engineering, one with Great Distinction (Nicholas Allen Hall) and 2 with Distinction honours (Chantal Quesnel, Danielle Nicole Quesnel).
Additionally, the Oliver L. Symes Memorial Award will be conferred to Nicholas Allen Hall for garnering the top honours from among the graduands in the Department, while Chantal Quesnel will receive the Clinton L. Armstrong Memorial Award for being the top graduand with courses in the area of soil and water engineering.
Under the theme “Refining Technology for Biomass Conversion: Conventional Products through
Unconventional Approaches”, the Biorefining Conversions Network (BCN) recently held their 2nd Annual Strategic Retreat at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The event, which began with an informal networking reception on Sunday November 7th, was attended by 125 delegates including senior industry representatives and government officials as well as expert researchers from Alberta, across Canada, the US, and Europe. In addition to widespread representation from the forestry, agriculture, oil and gas, and chemical manufacturing sectors, there was a notable presence of smaller renewable energy companies and technology developers. Increased participation of major forest and energy companies was a direct result of the BCN’s strategy in 2010 to engage these sectors.
In light of the previous year of experience with the CIGR 2010 congress, the website was entirely revamped to fit the Society needs and to facilitate its management. The website now includes a directory for all publications of CSBE (CBE Journal from 1959 to 2011, conference papers and CSBE’s public administrative documents), an online community, a blogging platform, an event management system with online transaction processor, a papers submission system for conferences and an on-line PERSPECTIVE newsletter (html version). The new website was also improved with Web 2.0 functions, such as comments posting, social media share links (Facebook and Twitter), and content emailing. These sharing functions are a good way to “spread the word” among users’ personal networks and contacts.
Thanks to Anne-Marie Chapman who has created a public Facebook group page for the Society. Public activities and announcements related to the Society are posted by Anne-Marie and me (René Morissette) on the page. At this time, only 16 persons are members of the page. I invite every member to follow CSBE activities through Facebook.
Since the website was revamped, statistics are better than the previous year (May 2009 to May 2010 compared to May 2010 to May 2011). CIGR 2010 congress could also explain these positives variations. In general, more visitors browsed the website (14825 vs. 12101 visits), they spent more time on it (in min:sec, 04:27 vs. 02:23) and they browsed more pages during a single visit (5 vs. 3.16).
I would like to invite member to publish relevant content for our members by joining us on Facebook. Also, one of my objective is to have by June 2012 at least 5 active bloggers (on www.bioeng.ca/members/blogs) to publish original content in their domain or field of interest related to bioengineering. This could make the Society a great source of up-to-date original content along with others traditional publications.
The 2011 annual meeting is scheduled for July 10-13, 2011 in Winnipeg. The local arrangement team is lead by Doug Small and the meeting promises to be exciting with numerous and varied technical sessions and an all day technical tour scheduled for Tuesday July 12th.
The 2012 CSBE/SCGAB annual meeting will take place in conjunction with our sister society NABEC in Barrie, Ontario.
There are no other reports from technical committees.
Since the beginning of my mandate, three editions of the Perspectives newsletter were published, the first one under the responsibility of my predecessor, Benoit Lacasse, and the others under my responsibility. It was a pleasure for me to collect and assemble all the news in order to transmit them to society members.
The publication of the Perspectives newsletter requires the assistance of several people like regional directors. Indeed, they are responsible of contacting members located in their area in order to get relevant news for publication. I would like to thank all of them for the time granted to this task.
A special thank goes to Benoit Lacasse, James Townsend and Shiv Prasher for their help when I had questions about the Perspectives newsletter publication.
I would finally take this opportunity to invite all members to submit any relevant news to their regional directors or directly on our website: www.bioeng.ca