Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2012

On 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. A Task Force was formed to define the Biological Engineering program. The Task Force’s final report will be submitted to the Dean and it will describe what is considered to be an idealized list of classes that would make up a program.  Assistance from the Gwenna Moss Teaching and Learning Centre helped the committee put together a program with the goal of appealing to different types of learners and demographics of students that have not been traditionally well represented in Engineering.  This program could be used as a target for future changes to our existing program depending on resources available.  The search for a Dean of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan continues. Dr. Ernie Barber is Acting Dean.

Saskatoon will host the 2013 CSBE Annual Conference. Stay tuned for details. If you are interested in helping out on the local organizing committee, contact Joy Agnew (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Several SK CSBE members will be presenting at the 2012 CIGR International Conference of Agricultural Engineering in Valencia, Spain (Scott Noble, Bernardo Predicala, Tyrone Keep, Joy Agnew, Huiqing Guo).

U of S ¼ Scale Tractor Team Highlight

For a second consecutive year, the University of Saskatchewan Sled Dogs have come in 4th place at the 2011 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, held annually in Peoria, Illinois. The 2011 tractor featured a single 31 hp Briggs and Stratton Big Block engine, CVT and transaxle from a John Deere Gator, reduced weight and a bold new look. Its most innovative features included data logging capabilities, which won the team the Campbell Scientific Award at competition, and a dynamic ballast system. The team was able to fine-tune some driveline components to finish 4th in the pulls, an improvement from 6th in 2010. The team also enhanced their writing skills to finish 3rd in the written design report. The first ever X-team to come from the U of S competed in 2011, and finished 3rd place overall. They modified the 2010 tractor, adding a roll-over protection system (ROPS), electric assist steering and actually improved pulling performance by reducing the number of engines from three 16 hp Briggs and Stratton Vanguards to two. They also blew the competition away with their oral presentation to finish 1st in the category.

The 2012 competition will again be held in Peoria, running from May 31 to June 3, 2012.

CBE New Graduates

During the 2011 Fall Convocation, two graduate students received their M.Sc. in Ag/Bio Engineering (Alvin Alvarado and Crystal Rinas). Two students also convocated with a Ph.D. in Ag/Bio Engineering (Phani Adapa and Eric Veikle). At the 2012 Spring Convocation, four graduate students received their M.Sc. in Ag/Bio Engineering (Holly Annand, Binsirawanich Pana, Gao Zhu, and Sooriya Arachchilage). Phani Adapa was nominated for the CSBE graduate thesis award.

During the 2012 Spring Convocation, 11 undergraduates received their B.Sc. in Ag/Bio Engineering. Four students graduated with great distinction (Haley Bart, Matthew Petruic, Chance Peutert and Brittany Thoms) and two graduated with distinction (Kyle Smetaniuk, Graham Stuart). Evan Wolowski graduated with the Professional Communication Option. Brittany Thoms was the recipient of the Oliver L. Symes Memorial Award and Matthew Petruic earned the Clinton L. Armstrong Memorial Award. The undergraduate innovation design award went to Evan Wolowski, Graham Stuart and Matthew Petruic. The Saskatoon Engineering Society design award went to Ryan Johnson, Chance Peutert and Kyle Smetaniuk.

Manitoba Region membership roster consists of 136 members this year, out of which 83 are student members. This number is increased from 108 in 2010. A special thanks to Dr. Danny Mann for his extensive efforts to create awareness and promote our society among students. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
204 631-3323)

The CSBE/SCGAB was the one of the official supporters of the "Manitoba Heavy vehicle Technology Workshop", which was held at The Victoria Inn, Winnipeg on March 29, 2012. This workshop was conducted through a collaboration of the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, Red River College, Westest, and the Vehicle Technology Centre.

The University of Manitoba Quarter-Scale Tractor Team had a very successful showing at the 2011 IQS Competition which was hosted by ASABE in Peoria, Illinois. University of Manitoba placed second in the tractor pull and second in design judging, finishing in 5th place overall, winning the Most Improved Award. The team also won Best Appearance and Best Craftsmanship for their work on Penelope 2.0.

Dr. Ron Britton received the Champion of Engineering Education Award from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba. Dr. Jason Morrison received the Graduating Class Award for Excellence in Teaching from the 2011 graduating class in Biosystems Engineering. Dr. Digvir Jayas was elected as President of Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC) Board of Directors, for the year 2011-2012.

The CSBE Manitoba region continues to sponsor awards at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium. Lisa Huang (grade 9) and Megan Esguerra (grade 10) in the intermediate category with a project entitled “Save your Trash: Re-use for Gas!” and Maggie Wong (grade 7) and Nicholas Langley (grade 8) in the junior category with a project entitled “Egg-Xellent” won this year's CSBE/SCGAB awards.

Co-sponsors : Canadian Society for Bioengineering & Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering

The 62nd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference is being held in Vancouver, BC from October 14-17 2012. One of the symposium running parallel to the main conference is the International Symposium of Biomass and Bioenergy. It’s Co-sponsored by Canadian Society for Bioengineering & Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.

For conference information and abstract submission please refer to: www.csche2012.ca

  • Biomass resources, supply chain and feed-stock preparation;
  • Thermochemical conversion: torrefaction, pyrolysis, gasification** and combustion; tar formation, characterization and removal ; gas conditioning and cleaning;
  • Biological processes: algae production processes, ligno-cellulosic ethanol, higher alcohols, bio-methane;
  • Products from biomass: New products, bio-diesel, fuels and chemicals, lignin, biochar, pellets;
  • Upgrading and utilization of bio-oil and bio-fuels;
  • Research network activities;
  • Building the bio-economy: bio-pathways and the forest bio-refinery; markets, investment and financing; successes and failures.

**Abstracts primarily devoted to gasification should be submitted to i-SGA-3 which will be running concurrently.


Paul Watkinson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Shahab Sokhansanj, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Franco Berruti, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Wenli Duo, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NSERC Bioconversion Network Pre-treatment Workshop was held at UBC from June 4th to 6th, 2012. The Workshop featured presentations/tutorials, and interactive discussions from world renowned international experts in biomass pre-treatment technologies, pre-treatment equipment manufacturers, pulp and paper companies and end users. One of the CSBE members, Dr. Shahab Sokhansanj was among the lecturers. He made a presentation on Biomass logistics and handling.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 09:46

Awards at the University of Saskatchewan

mariaMaria Rosario P. Mosqueda, a 3rd year Ph.D. student at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan has been awarded the International Development Research Centre’s (IDRC) Doctoral Research Award (IDRA). IDRA enables Canadians, permanent residents of Canada, and citizens of developing countries pursuing doctoral studies at a Canadian university to conduct research in developing countries on areas relating to IDRC’s research priorities. The project, “Improving the productivity of Philippine smallholder animal production through the efficient use of agro-industrial wastes and renewable energy sources”, aims to develop and evaluate the feasibility of a multi-power dryer and feed mill module that would enable small farmers to collectively and efficiently produce their own brewer’s spent grain-incorporated feed products. It will be implemented in partnership with Xavier University College of Agriculture, a private university in the Philippines.

leilaLeila Dominguez, a Ph.D. graduate student at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Univ. of Saskatchewan, was awarded second place in the R.O. Ball Graduate Student Research Competition at the 2012 Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) held in Banff, Alberta on January 17-20, 2012. Initiated in 1972, BPS is an annual event attended by pork producers, researchers, agribusiness representatives, and extension specialists from North America, Europe and Asia. Participants in the competition are graduate students involved in selected high value research related to pork production in the fields of nutrition, breeding, management, and the environment. Leila’s presentation was based on her research conducted at the Prairie Swine Centre on improving efficiency in swine barns by evaluating different heating systems, under the supervision of Dr. Bernardo Predicala.

There are 11 Biosystems engineering students who received their B.Sc. degrees at the spring convocation. Congratulations to Stacey Hildebrand, Jean-Christophe Habeck, Amy La, Chidinma Anyanwu, Nathan Bartel, Ellen Whitmore, Jelveh Jalali, Kyueng Youn, Arshdeep Juneja, Darren Hart and Brian Stasynec. Stacey Hildebrand is the recipient of the Program Medal in Biosystems Engineering and the Biosystems Engineering Undergraduate Thesis Award. In terms of graduate students, David Orchard (Advisor: Kris Dick) and Shahnaz Parvin (Advisor: Ying Chen) received M.Sc. degrees and Aravind Mohan Lakhamoorthi (Advisor: Digvir Jayas) received a Ph.D. degree at the May 2012 Convocation.

Members of the ¼ Scale Tractor Team (UMATT) are working frantically to complete their tractor for the upcoming competition in Peoria. Highlights and pictures will be available for the next newsletter.

The CSBE Manitoba Region once again sponsored awards at the Manitoba Schools Science Symposium held April 28th at the University of Manitoba. The recipients of the Biosystems Engineering award were Lisa Huang (grade 9) and Megan Esguerra (grade 10) in the intermediate category with a project entitled “Save your Trash: Re-use for Gas!” and Maggie Wong (grade 7) and Nicholas Langley (grade 8) in the junior category with a project entitled “Egg-Xellent”. A special thanks to Derek Inglis for once again assuming responsibility for organizing judges to enable these awards to be presented.

Instructors in the Department continue to be leaders in the area of education. R. Sri Ranjan loves the latest technology and has found ways to effectively use the iPad in his teaching. An article entitled “The Evolution to iPad as an Effective Technology for Teaching” was published in a bulletin produced by our University Teaching Services. Sri Ranjan also provided a workshop open to instructors from across the campus.

A Department Retreat was held on April 26th at Bridges Golf Club west of Winnipeg. This was a great opportunity for all department staff to provide input into future directions and future initiatives by the Department. Faculty affiliation was a topic that generated interesting discussion. The Department of Biosystems Engineering belongs to the Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences (in terms of budget), however, the undergraduate program is accredited through the Faculty of Engineering. Most members of the Department continue to be satisfied with this “dual citizenship” scenario (some might classify it as a “split personality”!) because it provides us with linkages to two strong faculties.

At the 46th Annual Convention of the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE), held on February 27-29, 2012 at the G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India, Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor of the University of Manitoba was inducted as a Fellow of the ISAE for his contributions to global grain storage research and profession of agricultural engineering. At the convention he organized an International Symposium on Grain Storage and made a keynote presentation entitled “Grain storage for food security and safety”.

Linking U of M’s Alternative Village with a community in Honduras

Dr. Kris Dick, Associate Professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering and the director of the Alternative Village at U of M, and fourth-year biosystems engineering student Luis Midence and master’s of biosystems engineering student Jami Carter visited various communities in the regions of Gracias Lempira and Copan Ruinas, Honduras to evaluate whether a program could be established through the Alternative Village to aid in the development of sustainable living in a developing region during this year reading week (February 20 - 24, 2012). The team partnered with World Vision Honduras that has Program Development Areas (PDA) in various parts of the country.

Representatives from two PDAs provided information on the work they had completed in each region, as well as planned work for the future. The team traveled to the communities of El Portillo, Consonlaca and Lanito Verde. As a result of this field trip the Alternative Village will partner with the village of Consonlaca. In February 2013, a group of engineering students will go to work with the team constructing a house. As a part of Dick’s course in alternative building systems students will work on various aspects of the design. A total of six to ten students will be selected each year for multi-year project. Initially the focus will be on engineering but subsequent years the plan is to include agriculture, health and business students.

Published in Manitoba Regional News

L’équipe ULtrac de l’Université Laval, composée d’étudiants des programmes de baccalauréat en génie agroenvironnemental, en agronomie et en agroéconomie de la Faculté des sciences de l’agriculture et de l’alimentation, s’est distinguée une autre fois en se classant parmi les leaders de la compétition internationale annuelle nord-américaine de design de mini-tracteurs, l’International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition, organisée par l’American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). L’équipe était supervisée par le professeur Mohamed Khelifi.

Vingt-sept équipes universitaires, majoritairement américaines, ont pris part à cette compétition qui s’est déroulée du 31 mai au 4 juin 2012 à Peoria, en Illinois, États-Unis. L’équipe ULtrac est très fière d’avoir obtenu la troisième position dans le classement général et de reprendre le titre de meilleure équipe canadienne de cet événement international. La compétition de mini-tracteurs a pour objectif de tester les habiletés de design et de construction des futurs ingénieurs agricoles.

Le mini-tracteur à quatre roues motrices équipé d’un moteur 31 HP Briggs & Stratton et d’un châssis en tôle d’acier entièrement conçu par l’équipe ULtrac a particulièrement attiré l’attention des juges, des ingénieurs œuvrant dans des multinationales comme John Deere, Agco et Caterpillar. L’équipe ULtrac s’est classée en 2e position pour le « design judging » (présentation technique du design), 3e position pour le rapport écrit, 3e position pour la présentation orale et 6e position pour ses performances lors les tirs. Dans le classement général, l’équipe ULtrac arrive en troisième position, derrière les équipes de University of Kentucky et Kansas State University et devant Iowa State University et Penn State University.

L’équipe ULtrac désire remercier ses généreux commanditaires qui ont largement contribué au succès de l’édition 2012 du mini-tracteur.


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