Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2011

Congratulations to our 3 canadian team that competed to the ASABE 1/4 Scale Tractor International Student Design Competition 2011 in Peoria!

University of Saskatchewan finished at 4th place, University of Manitoba at 5th place and Université Laval at 6th place.

An official news release from ASABE can be found here: http://www.asabe.org/students/tractor/asaecomp.html

Published in General News
Friday, 24 June 2011 09:57

Conference CIGR-AgEng 2012

Make plans to attend the International Conference of Agricultural Engineering which will be held at the Conference Centre of Valencia, Spain on July 8-12, 2012

The European Society of Agricultural Engineering (EurAgEng) and the The International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (Commission Internationale de Genie Rural) CIGR, will celebrate this joint International Conference on Agricultural Engineering in Valencia, Spain on July 8-12, 2012.

Information in Web pag.: http://cigr.ageng2012.org.

Published in Notices to Members

Yes, I am still here! After resigning as Secretary/Manager at the end of August 2010, I assumed that a replacement would be selected as soon as possible. By mid February 2011 I could see that such was not the case. I signed on again to look after some outstanding and pressing jobs. I am still at it. The report on the following pages is ordered as:

-        actual cash flow for 2010,

-        balance sheet for 2005 to 2010,

-        the Auditor’s report for 2010.

Note: The Auditor’s report has also been posted to the web site at www.bioeng.ca

Friday, 24 June 2011 09:54

Annual report 2010-2011: Treasurer

Audited Results to December 31, 2010

Thornton and Company's audit shows: assets of $169,468 differing from year end cash balance only by a small allowance for accounts (-audit page 8) receivable and a proportion of prepaid membership expenses in other organizations, with Liabilities of $6,707 for accounts payable

Cash flow results

Reporting on a cash flow Basis Revenue for 2010 was $528,242 while expenditures were $448,064, leaving a year end cash balance of $170,404. This is a welcome anomalous effect of the 2010 Quebec CIGR revenues and the great work of the CIGR conference organisers. Typically revenues in a year when there is an AGM convention with presentations would be in the order of $100,000 while expenditures would be around $70,000 on a cash flow basis. Though AGM's on either coast can tend not to be profitable.

Member ship fees brought in $26,161 as compared to $31,435 in 2009. Some management fees and salaries from 2010 may only have been invoiced in 2011 and will show up in the 2011 annual audit. The current cash balance improvement year over year (2009 FY $114,061, 2110 FY $170,403) should not be expected to continue on a sustainable basis, instead $5000 to $3000 may be expected. This gives the CSBE executive some additional manoeuvring room but does not allow for a continuing full service paid Society Management team unless the executive and membership wish to take on the business of hosting International conventions every 2 years - as was so ably done by the Quebec members.

The 2110 cash balance sheet and the Financial audit can be found on the CSBE website under the Publications menu item, CSBE documentation, Financial reports and audits


Published in Treasurer Reports

Over the last year, many CSBE Québec members worked to promote and organize the venue of the Concrete for a Sustainable Agriculture symposium (CSAS). This symposium will be held at the Chateau Bonne-Entente hotel from September 18th to 21st. A total of 30 specialized conferences will be presented by speakers coming from more than 15 countries. More than 80 delegates are expected and more information can be obtained at http://www.bioeng.ca/csas2011

I have regularly attended to the council meetings over the year and took part of the various discussions pertaining to the society management. I am still working on a better link with the Québec Agricultural Engineering Association (AIAQ). In that context, to create a stronger link with the Québec Agricultural Engineering Association (AIAQ), I accepted a two years mandate as President. This association is also facing some challenges to attract new members. It appears that we have to work all together to increase the awareness of our profession.

Also, jointly with the AIAQ executive board of directors, we continue the work to do some actions to improve the capacity of the Agri-food engineering program at Laval University. So far, few meetings have been held by the AIAQ president and some other engineers at different levels as head of department and faculty dean. However, despite of all these efforts, the future of this program is not guaranteed.

Welcome to Québec city in September 2011.


Au cours de la dernière année, plusieurs membres de la SCGAB (section Québec) ont travaillé à la promotion et à l’organisation du symposium sur les bétons en agriculture qui se déroulera du 18 au 21 septembre 2011 à Québec au Château Bonne entente. Ce congrès regroupant près d’une trentaine de conférences spécialisées sur l’utilisation du béton en agriculture devrait attirer près de 80 délégués de plus de 15 pays différents. Le site http://www.bioeng.ca/csas2011est consacré à ce congrès international. De plus, après discussions avec l’Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ), ce congrès sera admissible aux heures de formation continue maintenant exigées par l’ordre.

A titre de directeur régional, j’ai également participé aux séances régulières de l’exécutif de la société. Comme indiqué dans mon rapport de l’an dernier, je voulais établir des liens plus solides avec l’Association des Ingénieur en Agroalimentaire du Québec (AIAQ). Afin de favoriser le tissage de ces liens, j’ai accepté la présidence de l’AIAQ pour un mandat de deux ans. Pour cette association, tout comme la nôtre, attirer de nouveau membres est un défi constant. Par conséquent, travailler de concert pourrait aider les deux associations à accroître leur nombre de membres.

De même, en collaboration avec les membres de l’exécutif de l’AIAQ, nous avons continué à faire des actions pour augmenter la capacité d’accueil du programme de génie agroalimentaire de l’Université Laval.  À ce jour, plusieurs rencontres ont été tenues avec, entre autres, les instances du département et de la faculté. Toutefois, malgré tous nos efforts, la survie du programme n’est nullement assurée.

Finalement, je vous invite cordialement à Québec pour le symposium sur les bétons en septembre prochain.

Manitoba region has 108 members in 2010, out of which 50 are student members. This year we are planned to arrange a membership information season for Department of Biosystems Engineering students to explain the benefits of CSBE/ASABE membership. A total of 9 presentations made by the Department of Biosystems Engineering faculty and students at ASABE/CSBE North Central Inter-Sectional Conference which was held at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon on October 7-9, 2010.

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.

Biorefining Conversions Network Hosts Successful 2010 Retreat

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.

Friday, 24 June 2011 09:39

Annual Report 2010-2011: Webmaster

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.

Published in Webmaster Reports

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.

Published in VP Technical Reports
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