CSBE-SCGAB
Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2015 Edition

The annual report for the president “in waiting”, aka President-Elect ought to have been a daunting task for all of my predecessors.  Actually, my review of past Perspectives seems to suggest that the task might be as recent at Ron Macdonald’s turn as President Elect.  Our by-laws dictate a number of tasks for the President Elect to fulfill, such as membership to the Nominating Committee and the Bylaws Committee, carry out a forward planning process, and reporting to Council for the Awards Committee.

So, this report will cover the forward planning task associated with the job.  Mainly through past experience in various government offices, and my time at Université Laval, time in agricultural equipment manufacturing industry, and some 10 years involvement in grants selection committees (Mechanical Engineering, Discovery Accelerator Supplement, etc…) serving the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, I came to appreciate the evolution breath of biosystems engineering.  The VP membership will assuredly report that our membership is stable, which is good news.  What is not so good is that while Biosystems Engineering/Bioresources Engineering/Génie Agro-alimentaire department are churning relatively large number of students, we fail in recruiting them into our Society.  This issue is not new; it has been contemplated by my predecessors for a long time.

Few of you recall that my original specialization plan was food engineering, and that my M.Sc. was squarely in that area.  How many practicing and recent graduates with food engineering interest do we cater to?  I know quite a number, but do we retain them all?  Do we “serve” them appropriately?  By looking at the Technical program for our AGM 2015, we could conclude: not bad…  Now, what do we do for our Environment stream graduates?  There again, I know a number, but do we cater to all of the Environment Engineering graduates?  And again, the technical program of AGM 2015 does cover that territory.  Last winter, I taught a class of 44 Biosystems Engineering students at University of Manitoba; about half of them had in mind Environment Engineering, the other half Biomedical Engineering:  I did try my best to tweak the course content to keep their interest, that is quite a department from the original Civil Engineering content in that class.  But I unfortunately cannot report that the Society will count 44 new members two years down the road on their account.  Recently, a couple students graduating from Biomedical Engineering made it into the Faculty Medicine, and study towards an up and coming new breed of physicians.  Not the beginning of a new trend: I reviewed a number of top notch Discovery grant applications for NSERC prepared by M.D. with an engineering degree as backbone to their practice.  Will they abandon their Engineering skills once MD’s?  But how can we offer them something more than a banquet to “chew” on?  That is the question. 

I used the word “cater” often enough to suggest that the Society is there for the members.  My forward planning will focus primarily on building on the work from Qiang, Grant and Bernardo, both in terms of Council membership, technical programs, and promotion of the profession with the engineers we collectively train and mentor, and the Societies that seem to attract them based on focus.  This effort will begin with a brainstorm session in parallel with the AGM 2015, and I am specifically inviting department heads, undergraduate program chairs, and interested engineers practicing in Food, Biomedical, Environmental Engineering to come and share their interests, with the objective of making the Society a better care taker of their professional development and needs.


Le rapport annuel du Président "en attente", alias le Président-Elu aura certainement été une tâche ardue pour l'ensemble de mes prédécesseurs.  En fait, ma révision des dernières Perspectives suggère que la tâche pourrait avoir à son origine le "tour" de Ron Macdonald à titre de Président-Elu.  Nos statuts dictent un certain nombre de tâches pour le Président-Elu, telles que les membres du Comité des candidatures et le Comité des règlements administratifs, mener un processus de planification à long terme et la communication au Conseil pour le Comité des Distinctions. 

Ainsi, ce rapport couvre donc la tâche de planification à long terme, qui sera amorcée dès l’AGA 2015.  De mes expériences dans divers bureaux du gouvernement, mon temps Université Laval, brefs moment au sein de l'industrie de fabrication de matériel agricole et certaine implication de 10 ans dans les comités de sélection des subventions (comité génie mécanique, Discovery Accelerator supplément, etc...) qui dessert le Conseil de Recherches en Ssciences Naturelles et Génie, j’en suis venu à apprécier l’étendue et l'évolution de l'ingénierie des biosystèmes.  Le VP au recrutement vous rapportera que le nombre de membres est stable, ce qui est une bonne nouvelle.  Ce qui n'est pas si bon est le rapport entre le nombre croissant de gradués de programmes de  Biosystems Engineering/Bioressources Engineering/Génie Agro-alimentaire et nos difficultés à les recruter au sein de notre Association. 

Peu d'entre se rappellent que mon champ initial de spécialisation était le génie alimentaire, et que ma maîtrise était carrément dans ce domaine.  Combien diplômés pratiquants et récents de programmes de génie alimentaire desservons-nous ?  Je connais un certain nombre, mais n’y a-t-il plus?  Sont-ils représentés adéquatement dans nos activités et notre Conseil?  En regardant le programme technique pour notre Assemblée générale annuelle de 2015, nous pourrions conclure : pas mal...  Maintenant, que faisons-nous pour nos diplômés de flux de données d'environnement ?  Là encore, j’en reconnais un certain nombre, mais répondons-nous convenablement aux attentes des diplômés de génie de l’environnement ?  Et encore une fois, le programme technique de l'AGM 2015 couvre ce territoire.  L'hiver dernier, j'ai enseigné une classe de 44 élèves pour le département de Biosystems Engineering à l'Université du Manitoba ; environ la moitié d'entre eux avait à l'esprit le génie environnement après leur graduation, l'autre moitié le génie biomedical: j'ai bien essayé de mon mieux pour peaufiner le contenu du cours pour répondre à leurs intérêts.  Toutefois je ne peux malheureusement pas vous déclarer que notre Association comptera 44 nouveaux membres deux ans…  Récemment, quelques étudiants diplômés de génie biomédical ont fait leur entrée dans la faculté de médecine à l’Université du Manitoba, pour devenir une nouvelle "sorte" de médecins.  Pas le début d'une nouvelle tendance : j'ai évalué plusieurs demandes pour le CRSNG préparées par des docteurs ayant un diplôme d'ingénieur comme épine dorsale de leur champ de pratique médicale.  Abandonneront-ils leurs compétences en génie une fois MD?  Je ne crois pas, mais la question pour notre Association est " comment pouvons-nous offrir quelque chose de plus « à croquer » qu'un banquet?

Notre Association  est là principalement pour ses membres.  Ma planification à long terme se concentrera principalement sur s'appuyant sur les travaux de Qiang, Grant et Bernardo, tant en ce qui concerne les nominations et les activités du Conseil, les programmes techniques des prochaines AGA et promotion de la profession avec les ingénieurs que nous formons et encadrons collectivement et les associations vers lesquelles ils gravitent par défaut.  Cet effort commencera par une séance de remue-méninges en parallèle avec l'AGA 2015, et j'invite spécifiquement les chefs de département, des directeurs de programme de premier cycle et ingénieurs intéressés pratiquant en alimentaire, biomédical, et le génie de l'environnement à venir partager leurs intérêts, dans le but permettre à notre Association de mieux répondre aux besoins des générations futures d’ingénieurs des biosystèmes.

As the Society’s Past President, I was involved in a number of things, including serving as Chair of the By-Laws and Nominating Committees, as well as of the Advisory Council of Past Presidents. As such, I convened the Council of Past Presidents last 23 October 2014, which was attended by 5 Past-Presidents, the current President and President-Elect, and our Society Manager. We discussed critical items for the Society from the point of view of each participant, including those initiatives from past terms that may have been lost in transition but still have significant potential value to the Society. As Chair of the By-Laws Committee, I have been compiling throughout the year any needed amendments to the By-Laws that has come up, in particular those pertaining to eligibility to Member Emeritus status as well as those needed to be in compliance with new requirements of the Canada Corporations Act. These proposed By-Laws amendments will be put forward for approval by the general membership at the upcoming AGM. At the same time, I have compiled the changes needed for the Procedures & Operations Manual to keep it up-to-date, particularly those dealing with procedures related to Member Emeritus and the guidelines for Fellows nomination. As part of the tasks of the Nominating Committee, I have worked with the Council to identify positions with term ending this year, and to search for suitable nominees for the impending vacancies. The slate of candidates will be standing for elections which will be held in time for the AGM. Finally, as an ex-officio member of the Awards Committee, I have worked with the committee Chair in evaluating the nominees and selecting the awardees for the various Society Awards to be given out at the upcoming AGM.

Published in Past-President Report

The duties of the Society Manager include the following:

  • Record the minutes of Council meetings and the annual business meeting and distribute the minutes to Council members within one month of the meeting.
  • Carry on correspondence for the Society.
  • Serve as the office liaison with ASABE office.
  • Assist in preparing CSBE awards, commendations and student awards for the Annual meeting
  • Pay Society expenses.
  • Arrange for preparation of auditors report for AGM.
  • Serve as the office liaison with affiliate societies.
  • Report election results to Council and the annual business meeting.
  • File an annual summary with the Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada.
  • Preserve all documents of the Society except those assigned to other officers or committees.
  • Carry out general secretarial duties including keeping of committee lists, bringing appropriate documents to meetings and correspondence.
  • Receive all By-law changes but not responsible for making the changes.
  • Publish and supply in quantity the Awards Booklet to the AGM.
  • Invoice the authors for page charges
  • Print and mail the CBEJ
  • Serve as Secretary-Treasurer for the CSBE/SCGAB Foundation
  • Send out Foundation donation tax receipts      

As you are aware, CSBE-SCGAB Society and CSBE-SCGAB Foundation offer several awards every year. Please email me for information.  Applicants must be a student member of the Society. The Foundation will pay the membership dues for first-time-ever Graduate Students. Email me for information.

The minutes of the 2014 AGM at the Montreal CSBE/SCGAB ASABE conference are posted on our web site

http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/csbe/documentation/public/6487-agm-minutes-and-audit-reports

In 2012, the Foundation established a new program. To help our students with their travel to our CSBE-SCGAB Technical Conference and AGM, the CSBE-SCGAB Foundation will pay the fees for base conference registration for the winner(s) of student awards. In addition, the Foundation will provide $100 per student to a maximum of $400 per academic unit (biological/bioresource, biosystems,... eng. programs), to be used to defray the costs of travel and accommodation for attending the conference. The students must be members in good standing of the CSBE-SCGAB in order to be eligible for the awards, fee waivers, and travel support. Eligible academic units (biological/bioresource, biosystems,... eng. programs) are asked to contact the CSBE-SCGAB Foundation (John Feddes) by June 1st of each year, and provide the name, CSBE-SCGAB membership number, and project or thesis title of each winning student who are planning to travel to the conference site. I need a copy of base conference registration receipt for each student who is requesting support. I will issue a cheque to each student at the Edmonton Annual meeting. 

The past 2014 to 2015 year has been very busy for CSBE due to several challenges. Significant amount of time was spent in attending meetings and overseeing and helping to co-ordinate the local arrangements committee for the CSBE Annual Meeting to be held at Edmonton - July 5 to 8, 2015.

Early in 2014, I chaired the CSBE Journal Steering Committee. We met several times through conference calls. The last meeting was held on December 16, 2014. The committee composition is made of Sri Ranjan, Mano Krishnapillai, Stefan Cenkowski, Grant Clark, and Qiang Zhang. We discussed the progress to be made on reviewing the journal paper submissions, and discussed ways to improve the timelines. The CSBE journal does make a unique Canadian contribution to science and industry, but the viability and the value of the journal was analyzed. Resources required for efficient journal management and concerns regarding the availability of peer reviewer’s pool were points of discussion of this committee. It was recognized that the editor’s role is too large, being a taskmaster, a volunteer, and doing the editorial work. We also considered hiring a manager to ensure that the journal operates in a timely fashion. Performance indicators were set to demonstrate that the CSBE Journal is moving forward in a desirable direction. Because of implementation of some of the strategies discussed from this CSBE Journal Steering committee, the timelines in processing the journal papers have considerably improved. Serving as a VP (Technical) and also as an Associate Editor (Instrumentation) for the CSBE Journal, I was able to appreciate the challenges from both the journal operations side, and also from the executive member’s perspective in serving the needs of the members at large, i.e., authors and readers of the journal. The CSBE journal has started to achieve new rapid turnaround times in processing the papers recently.  

I have been working very closely with the local arrangements committee and the technical committee to develop the technical program for the annual conference. Thanks to Ike Edeogu, Murray Tenove, Rick Atkins and all the other members of the Alberta Local Arrangements Committee of CSBE 2015 Edmonton for all their hard work, dedication and sincere efforts. A total of 6 sponsorships has been received from a variety of organizations namely Lakeland college ($750), OPI Systems ($1000), City of Edmonton ($2000 cash and $500 inkind), Beaver Plastics (app $2000 cash) Alberta Beef Producers ($1000 cash) and Serecon ($750). Thanks to Jason Price of the Government of Alberta for leading on this sponsorship engagement. Few letters of invitation were also prepared and sent to some of the international delegates towards assisting their Canadian visa application processes.

Dr. Stan Blade, the Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences of the University of Alberta will serve as the plenary speaker during our conference. On Wednesday July 8th, 2015 a panel will be held on 'The Impact of Social License on Sustainable Food Production in Canada'. Sean Royer - Executive Director of ARD, Lynda Kuhn - Senior VP of Maple Leaf Foods, Representative from both Beef Producer of Alberta and Ducks Unlimited will serve as panelists. A total of 108 presentations including oral and posters has been received from our members to date to present during the upcoming annual meeting. Three technical tours (Vegreville, Camrose, and the city of Edmonton) have been organized to showcase the wild rose country of Canada. Fundamentals of Environmental Law, Prospective People Skills, Bio-Energy Dialogue Workshop and Measuring Sustainability – The Canadian Field Print Calculator are the 4 workshops tentatively arranged for as of now to be held on July 5th and July 8th.

With this annual report, I am concluding optimistically that the upcoming year will be an uphill task for CSBE focusing on a period of performance, membership engagement, and rebuilding our capacity. We are committed to an unwavering focus on technical operational improvements to enhance the mandate of our CSBE society.

Respectfully Submitted,

Suresh Neethirajan

Published in VP Technical Reports

The University of Manitoba has been hosting the Open Journal System (OJS) free of charge since 2009 to help with the online review process.  Over the past six years, I have customized and updated most of the pages in the OJS system to help with the review process of papers submitted to our journal.   

        The entire collection of past journal papers are now available online and can be accessed here: http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/publications/cbe-journal/browse.   The scanned papers were Optical Character Recognition (OCR) processed to enable them to be searched using keywords.

        Section Editors have management level access to the Open Journal System (OJS).  When papers are submitted to the journal, the Section Editors assign it to three other persons on the Editorial Board to review the paper through the OJS online system.  Those assigned the paper can either review the paper themselves or get it reviewed via a personal email to one of their colleagues who are more likely to oblige to review in a timely manner.  Each person serving on the Editorial Board is expected to review about 6 to 8 papers in a year.  If you are interested in serving on the Editorial Board, please contact the Section Editors who are listed below:

  1. Soil and Water Systems Engineering:  Dr. Mano Krishnapillai, Memorial University, NL
  2. Machinery Systems Engineering:  Dr. Hubert Landry, PAMI, SK
  3. Bioprocessing Systems Engineering:  Dr. Valerie Orsat, McGill
  4. Biological Systems Engineering:  Dr Stefan Cenkowski, UofMb
  5. Building Systems Engineering: Dr. Qiang Zhang, UofMb
  6. Waste Management Engineering: Dr. Grant Clark, McGill
  7. Information Systems Engineering: Dr. Suresh Neethirajan, Guelph
  8. Renewable Energy:  Dr. Amit Kumar, UofAlberta

        The Section Editors will also serve as the Technical Committee of our Society to help with the evaluation of the conference paper abstracts, formulate Technical Sessions, and solicit worthy papers for submission to the CBE journal.  Beginning in 2014, the processing time lines for the accepted papers have been published.  To further improve the timeliness of the publication of manuscripts the Council has unanimously voted to approve the following incentive policy:

(a)  Reward each reviewer with a credit of $50/manuscript towards page charges of their own manuscripts published in the CBEJ. A credit will be given for a review of acceptable quality and detail, as determined by the Section Editor, received within THREE weeks of assignment of the review. The total credits used by a reviewer towards publication of a single manuscript shall not exceed $100. The credit must be used within two years of being awarded. 

OR

(b)  Reward each reviewer with a credit of $50/manuscript towards registration in the CSBE-SCGAB Annual Conference. A credit will be given for a review of acceptable quality and detail, as determined by the Section Editor, received within THREE weeks of assignment of the review. The total credits used by a reviewer towards registration at a given conference shall not exceed $100. The credit must be used within two years of being awarded.

        In 2012, the Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal was registered with CrossRef (www.crossref.org) as a member organization allowing the assigning of Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to a paper published in our journal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_object_identifier). I have used the following system to identify our papers.  The http://dx.doi.org is the DOI resolving website. The number 10.7451 identifies our journal.  Following that, I have used CBE.year.volume.first_page_number as the format to identify each paper.  When you type this URL into a web browser, it will take you directly to the .pdf file of the paper.  Therefore, please publicize your papers by providing the DOI link of your paper instead of sending the .pdf file of your paper.  This will help properly register the access count with the DOI system.   By providing the DOI link you can help improve the impact factor of our journal.   

        I thank all the authors, reviewers, and the Section Editors for their support in making the publication of our journal possible.  We need your continued support in a timely manner to make our journal a successful vehicle for disseminating your research.  

Published in Journal editor reports

This was an extremely busy year for me but I did manage to participate in most of the CSBE-SCGAB Council meetings via conference call as well as the ASABE Membership Development Committee meeting in December and the CSBE Membership Engagement Committee meeting in April (both also via telephone conference calls).

I have reviewed the Bylaws and Procedures Operational Manual regarding “member emeritus” and have recommended some additions to be considered at the annual meeting.

I prepared a welcome letter for new members who joined our organization in 2014 to accompany the Membership Certificate that was prepared by John Feddes and mailed to each new member.

This will be done again this summer for new members joining in 2015. Any others who would like a membership certificate can contact Society Manager, John Feddes or myself.

The term of initial membership for students was clarified as being between 5 and 16 months. A membership application made in September at the start of fall school term would run until December 31 of the following calendar year. Any application received between January and August in the current year would only be effective until December 31 of that same year.

I promoted membership in the CSBE-SCGAB at an engineering meeting hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Affairs in October 2014 and again at a careers night held at the University of Guelph in January 2015.

I researched the possibility of adding a sub-category of International Member to recognize the reduced ability of potential members from low income countries to afford the standard international fee to join CSBE-SCGAB and ASABE. A reduced fee schedule, similar to that used by ASABE was approved by Council at our April 15th, 2015 meeting starting for 2016 fees.

Our big concern early this year was the large number of members who did not renew their membership for 2015. As of the end of February 2015, 158 members and 95 students had not renewed their membership. I requested that the Regional Directors try to make a personal contact with these potential members as I did with all of the unpaid international members to give them a gentle nudge to re-join the fold. At the April meeting of Council, I was given approval to send out a letter via email to all unpaid members asking for them to reconsider or failing that a reason for not renewing. I sent out 210 emails to unpaid members on May 1st, 2015 with 9 invalid emails being bounced back to me. Of the potential 201 recipients, I received 14 responses (7%) with 7 not interested in renewing for the following reasons; 4 – no longer relevant to my work, 1 – budget cut at company, 1 – unemployed for 3 years so cannot continue with cost, 1 – retired for 4 years & no longer interested. For the 7 positive replies; 3 – payment processing issues, 3 – just did   not get around to it yet, 1 – department no longer covering my membership so will now need to pay myself.

It would appear that the various personal contacts by Regional Directors and the Vice President (Membership) were effective, since the over-all 2015 membership numbers did rebound significantly and are now essentially the same as last year. Not sure why members do not renew in a more timely manner.  

Membership

Statistics

Date

Number of Members

September 2013

660 paid including students

May 2014

570 paid including 125 students

May 2015

574 paid including 107 students

       

Ending on a bright note, we are welcoming 10 brand new members, 30 student members and 19 graduate student members for 2015.  

Published in VP Membership Report
Friday, 12 June 2015 13:34

Annual Report from Webmaster 2014-2015

Revamped Awards Section

The Awards section (http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/csbe/awards) was redesigned to give more exposure to award recipients. On the main page, a general introduction is shown with a dynamic mosaic of the 2014 Award recipients. On the left, a first menu links visitors to each award description and form with full citations for recipients of this award. A second menu was also set to show award recipients by year. At this time, only 2014 and 2013 awards recipients were extracted from the booklet, previous years will come shortly.

CSBE LinkedIn group moves with EIC

For the benefit of our members, the CSBE LinkedIn group will join the LinkedIn network of the Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC). A new sub-group has been established for this purpose within the EIC LinkedIn network. The current CSBE LinkedIn group has been closed on September 1st 2014. We invite all current CSBE LinkedIn members to join this new group.

Reorganization of the CSBE LinkedIn group in this way will give us access to a wider network of professionals, diversified employment offers and recent discussions in the field of engineering. The EIC Linked network has 570 members across Canada and includes LinkedIn sub-groups for the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering and Canadian Engineering Management. If you do not yet have a LinkedIn account, take advantage of this opportunity to create one.

Notice to current members of our LinkedIn group: your LinkedIn membership was not automatically transferred to the new group, which may explain you didn’t receive the discussions and comments posted there. You must join the group as a new member by following this link:

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Canadian-Society-Bioengineering-8152433

Annual General Meeting 2015 in Edmonton

I was involved in the meeting organization at different levels:

  • Installation and configuration of a paper submission system (OpenConf).
  • Configuration and maintenance of an event section on our website (http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/edmonton2015).
  • Configuration of the registration system with online payment.
  • Creation and configuration of a Paypal account to accept online and onsite payment.
  • Sending of several (7) emails to current and past members (list of about 1000 emails) through our newsletter platform.
  • Training of members of the committee for the use of the paper submission system and registration management (database, reports, Paypal).
  • Participation in committee’s meetings.
  • French translation of the Award citations.

Newsletters and Notices to members

A total of 9 newsletters and notices were sent between July 2014 and June 2015 to a list of 665 members. The opening rate is about 30 %.

  1. Invitation to submit your paper to CBE Journal (August 2014, AGM 2014 Canadian authors only (255))
  2. AGM 2014 special issue (August 2014)
  3. Summer Perspectives Newsletter (September 2014)
  4. ASABE 1st Climate Change Symposium: Extended Deadline (October 2015)
  5. Call for Nomination - CSBE Awards 2015 (November 2014)
  6. Fall Perspectives Newsletter (December 2014)
  7. Happy holidays from CSBE/SCGAB (December 2014)
  8. Winter Perspectives Newsletter (March 2015)
  9. Spring Perspectives Newsletter (June 2015)

Job posting

Careers section on our website was more active this year with 8 jobs posting compared to 4 in 2012-2013 and only 3 in 2013-2014. This mean our website (and Society) is a valuable place to announce opened positions and it is growing recognition of recruitment agencies.

Website statistics report

Between July 2014 and June 2015, CSBE website was visited 14578 times (1215 monthly average) with 39290 pages viewed. An average of 2.70 pages per visit with duration of about 2:29 minutes was met, which is 5% more than the previous year (about 13858 visits).

  • The audience was mainly English (74 %) and French (8 %) and came from Canada (53 %), USA (12 %), India (3 %) and many other countries (Brazil, China, Germany, Philippines…). 
  • Main traffic came from organic search (56 %), followed by direct access (24 %), site referral (18 %) and social media (1.7%).
  • Main pages/sections viewed were the home page, Edmonton 2015 portal, Publications, ASABE/CSBE joint meeting news, CBE Journal information page, Join CSBE, and Careers page.
  • Visitor browser preferences were Chrome (48 %), Internet Explorer (21 %), Firefox (18 %), and Safari (9 %). 89 % of visits were from a desktop/laptop station while 11 % were on mobile (phone and tablet). Last year, 8 % were on mobile devices.
  • Social media. About 242 visits were referred from social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Research Gate…)
Published in Webmaster Reports

2015 Treasurers report for the fiscal year ended December 31 2014 and 2015 budget with 2016 projections

Financially CSBE has sufficient cash inflow and savings to carry on for the foreseeable future.

The 2015 audit shows that the year ended with  an excess of revenue over expenditure of $29,631.  This means that a number of areas were managed extremely well:  The journal, web site, office and savings investment.  There is also an element of luck - the currency conversion of our dues from ASABE is not managed brilliantly yielding some unexpected yields on US$ to CAD$ conversions as they fixed the rate above market in a falling conversion rate environment – this often works against us when the CAD $ is rising.

Also several programs for students were significantly underspent- regional directors need to get moving there is some reasonable money available for student events.

Notable areas of  increased funding for 2015  are:   Webpage software licensing renewal – a 3 year cycle, and a projected web page rebuild for 2016. And new for this year is a journal reviewers incentive to encourage timely reviews of journal articles with the goal of making the CSBE Journal a more attractive site to publish research papers.  The CSBE foundation has implemented a program to fund student awards winners to travel to the AGM.

CIGR and AIC fees are being paid the auditor however has recorded them under a different heading.
Council is reviewing the AIC membership and fees.

Net assets at the end of 2014 were $175,825 an increase year over year of $29,631 up from a low of $139,885 in 2013

End of year combined cash was $51.819 with an additional $102.536 in a long term securities portfolio at BMO Nesbitt Burns. The current portfolio value $105,470, pointing to a hoped for 7% per annum yield.

The 2015 budget with the 2016 projections can be downloaded here.

Download the 2014 Audit.

Published in Treasurer Reports

Another year has gone by, and it seems to have all happened in a blur. Wow, what a year it’s been! Not to mention, yours truly and his gang of cohorts continue to plug away towards what we hope will be a sweet ending to the year. Yes, Alberta (Edmonton) is proud to be hosting the 2015 CSBE/SCGAB ANNUAL CONFERENCE in July, along with its AGM and Awards Ceremonies!

  • 2015 CSBE/SCGAB Conference - Local Arrangements Committee (LAC)

A rallying call for volunteers to help plan and host the 2015 conference went out to provincial members of CSBE/SCGAB and non-members in September last year. The LAC boasted a total of 20 participants including, LAC Chair and CSBE/SCGAB member - Rick Atkins, CSBE/SCGAB Society Manager - John Feddes, VP Technical - Suresh Neethirajan and CSBE/SCGAB Webmaster - René Morissette. The LAC has held 10 planning sessions between late September 2014 and early June 2015.

The LAC decided on the theme, “Innovation in Water, Energy and Biosystems (iWEB) -Positioning the Globe for 2050” for the 2015 conference. It was chosen as the theme in order to reflect the diverse nature and expertise of the CSBE/SCGAB membership, as well as to solicit the participation and collaboration of professional non-members of related interest, as we collectively journey ahead into the future.

  • 2015 CSBE/SCGAB Conference - Professional Development Workshops

As part of the conference program, the LAC approached two non-technical and two technical speakers to host workshops on Sunday and Wednesday, respectively. Unfortunately due to low enrolment, three of the four workshops were cancelled and the LAC opted for only one technical workshop on Wednesday.

  • 2015 CSBE/SCGAB Conference - Technical Session Oral and Poster Presentations

About 110 presenters from across Canada, the U.S.A. and abroad responded to the “Call for Papers” first issued in December 2014. Of these, the highest numbers of responses were broadly related to topics on biosystem management, bioprocessing, water management and energy.

  • 2015 CSBE/SCGAB Conference - Technical Tours

Three technical tours are being organized as part of the conference program. Two of the tours are scheduled to take delegates to sites located outside Edmonton, while the third tour is targeted at sites within the city. The tour sites span a range of bioengineering interests and innovation within Alberta in the fields of bioprocessing, food processing, energy, water management, biosytem management, and information and electrical technology, as we strive to diversify our provincial economy.

  • 2015 CSBE/SCGAB Conference - Panel Discussion

A panel of representatives from government, the primary production industry, the value-added, food processing industry, and a non-government organization, will discuss “The Impact of Social License on Sustainable Food Production in Canada”. The discussion is anticipated to highlight the influential role consumers’ play today in determining the future of the food industry in Canada. Interestingly, the influential effects of the food industry’s “social license to operate” is being experienced at every level along the food supply chain, and is most certainly another level of detail bioengineers must factor in when designing and supporting sustainable food production systems in Canada,  towards 2050 and beyond. 

This will be my last annual report as SK Regional Director. After four fun and interesting years on Council, I am stepping down but will continue to be actively involved in the CSBE.

The last four years has seen a major transition at the University of Saskatchewan; the department of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering was merged with the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. While some view this merge as a loss for the CSBE/SCGAB, the society now has access to students in more disciplines as Chemical, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering have absorbed the courses and streams previously offered by Ag/Bio Engineering. Many of the fourth year design and graduate student projects in these disciplines have an agricultural or bioengineering aspect, so these students and faculty would certainly benefit from a membership with the CSBE/SCGAB.

The agricultural engineering industry in Saskatchewan is stronger than ever with several large equipment manufacturers calling Saskatchewan home and smaller manufacturers receiving support from programs such as NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). The CSBE/SCGAB offers significant benefits to industrial members, as evidenced by the successful industry-academia collaborations showcased at the CSBE/SCGAB conference in Saskatoon in 2013.

In 2015, the final group of graduates to receive a B.Sc. in Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering convocated from the University of Saskatchewan. Congratulations to Joshua Coté, Jason Cousins, Brennan Crooymans, Joël Denis, Dustin Eichhorn, David Epp, Ryan Green, Alanna Howell, Luke Lowenberger, Jonathan Schuba and Charley Sprenger. Congratulations also to the students who were selected to receive CSBE/SCGAB design project awards:

CSBE/SCGAB Undergraduate Design Project Award:

Design of a cherry pitter for small intermediate cherry producers
Jason Cousins
Ryan Green
Luke Lowenberger
Supervisor: Lope Tabil

CSBE/SCGAB Undergraduate Thesis Award:

Point row control for air seeders
Brennan Crooymans
Joël Denis
Jonathan Schuba
Joshua Coté
Supervisors: Joel Gervais and Ross Welford

CSBE/SCGAB Graduate Thesis Award:

Effect of Pretreatment on the Breakdown of Lignocellulosic Matrix in Biomass Feedstock (Ph.D.)
Kingsley Iroba
Supervisor: Lope Tabil

I hope to catch up with some fellow Saskatchewan members at the CSBE/SCGAB conference in Edmonton in July! Best of luck to the incoming SK Regional Director, Dr. Venkatesh Meda! 

Page 2 of 3

Submit your news

The CSBE is looking for news from its members!

Please send your text with good resolution pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Your news will be published in the next Perspectives Newsletter.