Perspectives Newsletter Spring 2023
Vol. 45, no. 3 / Posted on June 22, 2023

waterton lakes

You have until June 27th to register at early bird rates for the upcoming CSBE-SCGAB 2023 AGM in Lethbrigde! Visit the event's website for more information:



The Canadian Society for Bioengineering (CSBE) or La Société de génie agroalimentaire et de bioingénierie (SCGAB) is looking for a Vice-President (Industry). Overall, its role is to liaise with industry in improving relations and serve the interests of industrial members. In addition, this person serves as a member of Council for a two-year term and attend Council meetings, serves as member of the ASABE Standards Council and liaises with CSBE/SCGAB Foundation to raise industry funds/scholarships for students.

If you are interested in this challenge, please contact the Society Manager, Sébastien Fournel, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal (CBEJ) is undertaking a search for an Editor-In-Chief (EIC). CBEJ provides a platform for the dissemination of novel and high impact research in engineering and biological sciences. The journal interfaces engineering with the biological world and covers a wide range of fields including energy, soil and water, power and machinery, bioprocessing, information and electrical technologies, food processing, agricultural structures, bio-nanotechnology and the environment with a focus on key issues such as environmental sustainability, food security and safety.

The new EIC is expected to work on setting a new strategic vision for the journal, and improve the number and quality of submissions. The EIC is also expected to work in improving workflows, keeping the time from submission to publication low and helping to disseminate the Journal to wide audiences. The EIC will be an ambassador for the journal. The EIC position is for a three-year term and is renewable for an additional three years. The term of appointment is anticipated to start in October 2023. At the time of appointment, the successful applicant must be a member of the Canadian Society for BioEngineering (CSBE).

Candidates should have a strong record of scholarship, a broad base of knowledge in the field, demonstrated leadership skills, editorial and administrative experience, and appropriate volunteering time to devote to the journal. The ability to clearly articulate a compelling vision for the journal will be a key factor on which candidates will be evaluated.

Review of applications by the Search Committee will commence immediately and conclude rapidly following the application deadline of August 15, 2023.

Interested applicants should submit the following documents no later than August 15, 2023:

1. Cover letter: 

  • Vision for the journal;
  • Reasons for your interest in this position;
  • Brief description of research and current fields of activity;
  • Prior editorial experience (e.g., Editorial Board Member of a journal);
  • Estimate of the amount of time per week that can be devoted to the position;
  • Other personal qualifications and/or comments that may be relevant for the selection committee.

2. Curriculum vitae.

Applications should be submitted electronically to the Society Manager, Sebastien Fournel, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Rédacteur-en-chef – Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal (CBEJ)

Le Canadian Biosystems Engineering Journal (CBEJ) est à la recherche d'un rédacteur-en-chef (REC). Le CBEJ fournit une plateforme pour la diffusion de recherches nouvelles et à fort impact dans le domaine de l'ingénierie et des sciences biologiques. La revue fait le lien entre l'ingénierie et le monde biologique et couvre un large éventail de domaines, notamment l'énergie, le sol et l'eau, l'énergie et les machines, les bioprocédés, les technologies de l'information, l'électricité, la transformation des aliments, les structures agricoles, les bio-nanotechnologies et l'environnement, en mettant l'accent sur des questions clés telles que la durabilité environnementale et la sécurité alimentaire.

Le nouveau REC devra travailler à l'élaboration d'une nouvelle vision stratégique pour le journal et améliorer le nombre et la qualité des soumissions. Il devra également s'efforcer d'améliorer les communications, de réduire le délai entre la soumission et la publication et de contribuer à la diffusion du journal auprès d'un large public. Le REC sera un ambassadeur du journal. Le poste de REC a une durée de trois ans et est renouvelable pour trois années supplémentaires. Le mandat devrait débuter en octobre 2023. Au moment de sa nomination, le candidat retenu doit être membre de la Société canadienne de génie agroalimentaire et bioingénierie (SCGAB).

Les candidats doivent avoir un solide dossier de recherche, une large base de connaissances dans le domaine, des compétences de leadership avérées, une expérience éditoriale et administrative, et un temps bénévole approprié à consacrer à la revue. La capacité à formuler clairement une vision convaincante pour la revue sera un facteur clé sur lequel les candidats seront évalués.

L'examen des candidatures par le comité de recherche commencera immédiatement et se terminera rapidement après la date limite de dépôt des candidatures fixée au 15 août 2023.

Les candidats intéressés doivent soumettre les documents suivants au plus tard le 15 août 2023 :

  1. Lettre de présentation :
    • Vision du journal;
    • Raisons de votre intérêt pour ce poste;
    • Brève description de la recherche et des domaines d'activité actuels;
    • Expérience éditoriale antérieure (e.g., membre du comité de rédaction d'une revue);
    • Estimation du temps hebdomadaire que vous pouvez consacrer à ce poste;
    • Autres qualifications personnelles et/ou commentaires susceptibles d'intéresser le comité de sélection.
  2. Curriculum vitae.

Les candidatures doivent être soumises par voie électronique au directeur-général de la société, Sébastien Fournel, à l'adresse suivante : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Staffing Update

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Warren Blunt, P.Eng. will be joining the Department of Biosystems Engineering as an Assistant Professor on July 1, 2023. Dr. Blunt first became involved in research in the Department of Biosystems Engineering as a summer research assistant investigating biofuels from lignocellulosic sources. This experience would unknowingly become the launch of not only a keen interest in sustainability, but also a subsequent career trajectory. This interest saw him through two additional undergraduate summers, as well as providing the opportunity to work and collaborate internationally with Scion (a Sustainable Forestry Research Institute in Rotorua, New Zealand) after being awarded an NSERC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement. Dr. Blunt completed a Ph.D in from the Department of Biosystems Engineering in 2019, studying production of microbial-based bioplastics. He subsequently joined the National Research Council of Canada as an Assistant Research Officer with the Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre. Dr. Blunt is excited to now be starting a new role as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biosystems Engineering. His research program will include fermentation process development for valorization of waste materials - and in particular the capture and utilization of carbon dioxide to stimulate a sustainable and circular (bio) economy. 


New Research Infrastructure

During the past year, the Department of Biosystems Engineering received $30,000 from Efficiency Manitoba to purchase a Biovator in-vessel composter that has been installed at the department’s Sustainability-in-Action Facility (SiAF). At the present time, the Biovator is being commissioned with additions of various agricultural wastes (oat hulls, canola meal, flax screenings, chicken manure as nitrogen sources) along with high carbon materials (grass clippings, typha stalk, campus restaurant food wastes), water and wood chips as a bulking agent. This has yielded temperatures of up to 55°C so far. The system is not yet optimized for water and capacity, so the temperature should increase with further refinement. Inputs have been analyzed for total carbon and total nitrogen in order to build a database that can be used to achieve optimum C:N ratios with whatever we are composting.

The Biovator will be used in its first research test later this summer to optimize a Typha/chicken manure mixture for potting soil. The goal of this project is to displace peat moss (a medium term carbon sink that should not be mined) with Typha in a potting soil that has a reasonably high nitrogen content. Another project that is in discussion is to carry out a trial for the town of Churchill MB using food wastes and only cardboard as a bulking agent. Churchill has no local source of woodchips and they need to determine if cardboard can be substituted. A long-term study is planned to test the breakdown of single use PLA cups and plates in optimized conditions using specific microbes. Each of these research projects will require food wastes from campus restaurants, lowering the use of landfill disposal. This Biovator addresses a need for industrial scale in-vessel composter for research purposes. Even though it is new to our site, already it is slated for several research projects over the next year. For further information, please contact our SiAF Manager, Dr. Joe Ackerman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Dear Colleagues,

The winter is over, and everyone is looking forward to the summer. Summer is the time to focus on field research and relax under the sun. Many students have successfully completed their studies, and are now entering into the professional world. Many new research projects and development programs are currently underway. Below are highlights of some activities/developments in Ontario.   

Wishing everyone a productive, healthy, safe and restful summer!

Pradeep Kumar Goel, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Ontario Regional Director


An Important Responsibility

Our experienced and well-respected colleague, Mr. Hugh Fraser, has been elected President of Ontario Barn Preservation for 2023-2024. This not-for-profit organization, founded in 2019, is dedicated to preserving, documenting and promoting Ontario barns. Check out for more details at'


The Guelph Food Engineering Conference, Guelph, Ontario

Dr. Manickavasagan Annamalai, an Associate Professor at University of Guelph, and his team have successfully organized the first Guelph Food Engineering Conference on April 10, 2023. The conference was held in Adams Atrium at the School of Engineering (Guelph). The conference was attended by more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students and professionals. Further, many awards were presented to deserving students. Dr. Pradeep Goel, Ontario Regional Director, was also a guest attendee and he spoke about the benefits of being a member of the CSBE/SCGAB. A special campaign was carried-out to promote the CSBE/SCGAB society and get new student-members. 


NABEC Conference, Guelph, Ontario

The University of Guelph group is preparing to welcome all agricultural and biological engineers for NABEC, 2023 conference at Guelph, Ontario. The conference will be held at Delta Hotel and Conference Center, across the street from the University of Guelph. The program starts on July 30 with registration (2 PM) and a welcome reception (6 PM to 8:30 PM). The following two days, July 31 and August 1, will feature technical presentations, posters, and keynote speakers. Technical conference presentations/posters will cover the latest research in our engineering fields. Keynote speakers will update us on Digital Agriculture and Food Engineering topics. On July 31st evening, there will be a BBQ dinner at the University of Guelph Arboretum, and on August 1st evening, there will be an Awards Banquet at the Delta Conference Center. On August 2, a technical tour will take participants to various research facilities, including the Controlled Environment System Research facility, Ontario Rural Wastewater Center, Lysimeter installation at Elora research station, and Dairy Innovation Center. Spouse tours are also planned for visiting the historic towns of Elora/Fergus and Guelph/Cambridge. 

Professor Vijaya Raghavan, James McGill Professor, Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Canada, has been awarded the McGill’s Lifetime Achievement Award during Spring 2023 Convocation on June 2, 2023, at McGill University, Canada.  

This prestigious award recognizes “sustained excellence in leadership and innovation which has had a significant impact on teaching and the learning experience at McGill and beyond”. This recognition is a true testament to Professor Raghavan commitment to excellence, dedication, outstanding contributions, and remarkable achievements in teaching, research, and development activities. Professor Raghavan has mentored and trained numerous students and continues to inspire and educate a new generation of researchers and engineers.  

As an esteemed member of your society, Professor Raghavan has made significant contributions to the field of Agricultural/Biosystems/Biological Engineering Education through his teaching, research work, academic excellence, and unwavering dedication to advancing the profession.  

Link to McGill University webpage of Professor Raghavan: 

Link to McGill reporter:

Raghavan 2023 930x621

Professor Vijaya Raghavan (right) receives McGill’s Lifetime Achievement Award from Dr. Deep Saini, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University, Montreal, Canada. 

Reported by K. R. Jolvis Pou, PhD student at McGill

Our Canadian teams performed well at the 26th edition of the competition, held from June 1 to 5 at the Expo Gardens Fairgrounds in Peoria, Illinois.

Three Canadian universities were present this year: the University of Saskatchewan, the University of Manitoba and Université Laval. Congratulations to UofS, which came first in written design and 7th overall. UL came in 8th and UofM 18th.

See the results here:


UL trac team 2023 - Université Laval