Perspectives Newsletter Summer 2013
Saturday, 14 September 2013 22:18

A Few Words From President Bernardo Predicala

bernardo-predicala“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Einstein

If you have been following this section of the Newsletter in the past, you will probably find that this particular piece will be a little bit different, starting with the quote above. In fact, over the term of the new CSBE Council which started in July at the AGM in Saskatoon, we will aim to do things differently. For the benefit of those members unable to attend the conference, I would like to reiterate some of the remarks I made at the AGM when I officially took over as President of the Society. I started by explaining that my reasons for taking on this responsibility was greatly influenced by the concept known as ‘By-stander Syndrome’.

Published in Editorial
Saturday, 14 September 2013 22:28

It's time to renew your membership!

Good things come to those who wait…but not in this case!

logo-asabe-csbe2014 invoices are now available online for payment at www.asabe.org. And paying your dues on or before October 18 could earn you $100!

To conserve resources and minimize the costs associated with paper invoicing, we're offering an incentive for early renewal of your 2014 dues. If you pay before midnight EDT, October 18, your name will be entered into a draws to receive one of ten $100 MasterCard gift cards to be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted. The drawings will take place Monday, October 28, and the winners will be notified by e-mail.

Last year, the CSBE-SCGAB Council carried out a review of our Society’s revenues and expenditures over the past five years. This showed a definite trend of financial reserves depleting to zero, in 5 years. Hence, the Council implemented measures to reduce expenses.   Please refer to Annual Meeting documents for specific budget items reduced. At the same time, we also looked at strategies to increase our revenues. The Journal is projected to be revenue neutral next year and to contribute a modest net profit in subsequent years.  Our 2013 AGM is projected to realize substantial net revenue. However, these combined measures were still not sufficient to eliminate the deficit, so our last recourse is a review of our membership dues. We have not increased our dues for 5 years and it is time for a step increase. As passed at our Annual Meeting, Council has set the following dues schedule: $41 for graduate students (no change), increase from $149 to $195 for members of age 34 and under, increase from $190 to $249 for members 35 to 64 yrs of age, increase from $85 to $111 for members 65 to 74 yrs of age, and $11 for members over the age of 75 (no change. A percentage of the membership dues goes to ASABE, in return for administering the invoices.

When you pay your membership dues, the CSBE-SCGAB Foundation requests that you support the Foundation checkoff. This year at the Foundation AGM, the Board decided to provide more sponsorship towards the student competitions at our Annual Meetings and raise funds for use by our Regional Directors and University staff to recruit student members to our Society.  If each of us can contribute $30, then we can easily double the funds available to support member engagement and recruitment.

Paying your dues is easy. Simply click the Login box at the top of the page at www.asabe.org, enter your username and password, click the "Renew Now" link near the top of the page, and pay with a credit card via our secure server. You may also call us at 800/371-2723 or 269/932-7028 to pay your dues over the phone or fax your credit card.


John Feddes
CSBE-SCGAB Society Manager

Published in Notices to Members
Saturday, 14 September 2013 22:35

Welcome to new CSBE/SCGAB members!

On behalf of all CSBE/SCGAB members, the Council would like to welcome the 76 new members who joined the Society in 2013!

John Phillips, CIFA USA/Zoomlion America
Marie-Jose Dumont, McGill University
Jim Lim, University of British Columbia
Mohammed Bakari, McGill University

Published in Notices to Members
Saturday, 14 September 2013 22:47

Meet the Council new members for 2013-2014!

Following the July's annual meeting in Saskatoon, the Board composition has changed. Here are the new officers for the positions of President, Past-President, President-Elect, Society Manager, VP Membership, VP Regional, VP Technical, BC Regional Director, Alberta Regional Director and Québec Regional Director. Welcome! 

A full list of Council members is available in the Contact section.

bernardo-predicalaBernardo Predicala

Prairie Swine Center Inc., 2105-8th St. East, Saskatoon, SK, S7H5N9
Tel: 306 667-7444; Fax: 306 955-2510
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

qiang-zhangQiang (Chong) Zhang

University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 5V6
Tel: 204 474-9819; Fax: 204 474-7512
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Grant ClarkGrant Clark

Bioresource Eng’g, McGill U, 21111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue QC H9X 3V9
Tel: 514 398-7784; Fax: 514 398-8387
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


John Feddes

Society Manager
Manager, Can. Soc. for BioEngineering
Department of Biosystems Engineering
E2-376 EITC Bldg, 75A Chancellor Circle
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3T 5V6
Tel: 1 (780) 487-2648
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

harry-huffmanHarry Huffman

Vice-President (Membership)
86 Southfield Cres, London, ON, N6K 2B7
Tel: 519-474-4958
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SureshNeethiSuresh Neethirajan

Vice-President (Technical)
School of Engineering,University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N1G 2W1
Tel: (519) 824-4120 Ext 53922; Fax: (519) 836-0227
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fahimeh YazdanpanahFahimeh Yazdanpanah

Vice-President (Regional)
Tel: 778 990-2656
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ehsan oveisiEhsan Oveisi

British Columbia regional director
2360 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3 , Canada
Tel: 604-512-6497
Fax: 604-648-9849
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ike-edeoguIkechukwu Edeogu

Alberta regional director
Technology Development Engineer
3rd floor, JG O'Donoghue building, 7000-113 street, Edmonton, Alberta  T6H 5T6
Phone: 780-415-2359
Fax: 780-422-9745
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ben-hawkinsBen Hawkins

Ontario regional director
Manager (A) Innovation, Engineering and Program Delivery Unit, Eastern Region
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
1 Stone Rd., Guelph, Ont. N1G 4Y2
Tel: 519-826-3560
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

matthieu-girardMatthieu Girard

Québec regional director

2700 rue Einstein, Quebec City, QC  G1P 3W8
Tel: 418 643-2380 # 670
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Notices to Members
Saturday, 14 September 2013 23:06

Introducing your New Alberta Regional Director


Wow! Have things ever started off with a bang! I probably should begin with an apology. This report will likely read more like a blog. No, please don’t get me wrong. I don’t blog and have only been exposed to “blogging” a few times in my lifetime (mostly this year). Regardless, I thought this would be a nice way to connect with the CSBE membership, particularly regional members (and non-members) that might be perusing our website.

So, here we go! The fanfare all began with my nomination to the society’s Regional Director portfolio in spring this year. And yes, what a surprise it was considering the last time I actively participated in a CSBE event was in 2006 when Alberta hosted the CSBE National Technical Conference and Annual General Meeting. Prior to 2006 and since then, I’d battled with finding my identity within the society, be it the Canadian Society of Agricultural Engineers (CSAE) or now, CSBE. What was I really getting out of my association with the society? I had reviewed details of the proposed 2013 AGM and Technical Conference earlier on and didn’t find anything that appealed to me and so once again, I didn’t plan on attending this event either.

After consulting with a few prominent individuals, reviewing past and present regional director reports in the newsletter, and taking a peek at the draft revised CSBE bylaws, I proceeded to accept the nomination. Of course, this now meant I had to attend the AGM and Technical Conference held in Saskatoon in July of this year. And what an AGM and Conference it was! Obviously, I was voted into office…thank you…but beyond that was my new eye-opening, self-realization experience with the CSBE. I attended one of four workshops held on the 7th, a plenary session and technical sessions on the 8th, toured a biofuel production plant, a biogas research facility and a canola oil food processing plant on the 9th, and another series of technical sessions and a captivating education forum on the 10th. Not to mention the opening reception, AGM, barbeque, awards banquet, poster session and CSBE council meetings.

So what made the difference this time? Well, for one, I had the opportunity to be exposed to areas of expertise within bioengineering that were not familiar to me, and voilà, a connection was made. Light bulbs flicked on as my awareness grew. Opportunities for innovation, collaboration and so on came to mind. At last, I was forced to “venture beyond my comfort zone”, “think outside the box”, and I liked where it took me! Since the annual gathering I have had the opportunity to pursue some of my “newfound dreams” by meaningfully connecting with engineers and non-engineers associated with bioengineering. One of my goals as regional director for 2013/2014 is to expand this network to include as many such professionals in Alberta and to introduce or re-introduce them to the CSBE, as the case may be. I look forward to our voyage ahead and plan to keep you posted on the progress via this column on a quarterly basis. Toodles.

Saturday, 14 September 2013 23:20

Saskatchewan Regional News - Summer 2013

CSBE-SCGAB Annual Technical Conference and AGM

The CSBE-SCGAB Conference for Interdisciplinary Engineering in Agriculture and Biosystems that was held in Saskatoon July 7-10 was a success with over 140 delegates taking in the technical sessions, workshops and tours. The CSBE-SCGAB and the organizing committee would like to thank the sponsors (U of S, CNH, DEM Solutions, PAMI, Bourgault and Saskatoon Engineering Society) for their support.

Pictures of the event are available here. If a participant want to obtain full resolution pictures or want to remove a pictures from the website for confidentiality issue, please contact webmaster [at] csbe-scgab.ca

Papers are available for download: http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/publications/meeting-papers/csbe-technical-conferences/5881-agm-saskatoon-2013


Call for Abstracts: Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering Science, Trades & Technology

The 2014 edition of the biennial conference of the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology (CCWESTT) will be held in Regina, Saskatchewan May 21 to 24, 2014. The Conference theme is: “Open Opportunities: Mentoring the Future”.  The call for abstracts will remain open until October 1, 2013. Visit www.ccwestt2014.ca or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


Saturday, 14 September 2013 23:30

Manitoba Regional News – Summer 2013

News from Department of Biosystems Engineering

Four members of the Department teaching staff have reached milestones in their service to the University of Manitoba. Don Petkau has been with the University of Manitoba for 5 years in his position of Instructor. Jitendra Paliwal has reached 10 years of service. Both Ying Chen and Danny Mann have reached 15 years of service.

Joe Ackerman, Nazim Cicek and Jan Oleszkiewicz received an ASABE Superior Paper Award for their paper entitled “Anaerobic fermentation of pig manure to increase phosphorus removal by struvite precipitation.”

Kris Dick led a student team to Honduras to work on sustainable living project there in February 2013. A new home, rainwater harvesting and filtration system, a new stove, water storage and latrine were constructed over a twelve-day period. In February Kris presented a paper at the Non-Conventional Materials conference in Brazil that highlighted work at the Alternative Village on hempcrete buildings. He also knows what it is like to be stung by a jellyfish and does not recommend the experience. From April to June, Kris was a visiting researcher at the University of Bath in England. The focus of his work there was the durability of strawbale wall systems and the use of natural binders for use in hempcrete. 


“What is Biosystems Engineering?”

One common question we face whenever we meet new person is “What is Biosystems engineering?”, and most of us always has a question in our mind, “How do people perceive Biosystems or Biological Engineering?” An attempt was made by Department of Biosystems Engineering to find the answers for these questions. Over the summer, a YouTube video was prepared, in an attempt to bring greater awareness to the profession of Biosystems Engineering. Watch it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Plc6mpwgKc

Published in Manitoba Regional News
Saturday, 14 September 2013 23:50

Ross Irwin: A history in 3 parts

1920 – 1953: the early years

Ross was born in Cambray, Ontario on Sept 11, 1921. During WW2, he served with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Association for 45 months in Italy and NW Europe. Following his army service he trained as a machinist but then entered the Ontario Agricultural College in 1947 with the then largest BSA degree program. Ross completed his final year of his BSA (Agricultural Mechanics) graduating in 1951. Upon graduating, he worked as a field drainage engineer before going off to Iowa State to complete his MS degree

1953 -1987:  the working years

Ross returned to OAC where he taught soil mechanics and was the principal extension person for the School of Engineering. His specialty was farm drainage and in 1957 he published the Drainage Guide for Ontario, which became the technical standard for farmers, tile drainage contractors and drainage engineers for the draining of Ontario farmland. He went on to revise this publication 11 times as new information became available. The technical information and format was used by drainage specialists across the north-eastern US to develop their own guides for their individual states.

Through his training courses and extension work, he organized the first meetings of the drainage contractors of Ontario to exchange ideas, to solve problems and set standards for tile drainage installation.  This led to the birth of the Ontario Farm Drainage Association (now LICO, the Land Improvement Contractors of Ontario) in 1959. He developed the Drainage Schools for training contractors on proper drainage design and installation.

His research was particularly adept at moving innovations from the lab to the field. In the early years, his work on plastic drainage tubing helped to assure traditional drainage people that the new tubing could withstand the pressure of the earth and endure as long as clay tile. He developed the “thumb” test to determine if the tiles from an individual tile manufacturer were strong enough to stand up to the stress of installation and soil settlement. He created and demonstrated the “coffee can” test to illustrate whether or not a soil need a filter around the tile or tubing.

Ross chaired the committee assigned the task of consolidating Ontario’s drainage legislation in 1962.  He was a consultant to the provincial government after the Select Committee on Land Drainage report was filed in 1974 and to a great extent guided the drafting of the Drainage Act 1975.

A long time guide to the Ontario Good Roads Association, Ross suggested and helped develop the Road schools, held annually at the University of Guelph and now in their 30th year. These schools, originally for those road superintendents most concerned with drainage, has now attracted all employees of the municipality concerned with roads.

During these years, Ross continued his interest in the various forms of history and completed several histories of the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph.

1987 - 2013 the retirement years

These years gave Ross the opportunity to work full time on his love of "former things" - people, stamps, and medals. He was a researcher and chronicler of Guelph’s history spending many hours researching at the Guelph Public Library. He was president of the Guelph historical society for 5 years. In his writing, he tolerated elegant prose but thought it an unnecessary time-consuming way to convey essential information. He collected war medals and memorabilia, postage stamps and coins. He was a member of the Guelph Wellington Men's Club for which he served as president from 1992-93. Ross was seldom missing nor at a loss for a question or a comment.

Ross continued his interest in drainage, contributing to the latest revision of the Drainage Guide for Ontario published in 2007.  He also continued to contribute to the annual LICO convention which he attended for 52 consecutive years.

He served as a member of the board of his church for many years and knew the workings of the building thoroughly.  As he did with his involvement with LICO, he kept a close eye on the operating expenses and always considered thoroughly the value for money spent. As a regular morning coffee drinker, Ross had a great problem when the local Mcdonalds with its 99 cent cup of coffee, closed.

Ross was inducted into the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2006. He was a life member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering, the Ontario Good Roads Association and of LICO. He was a winner of a Blue Ribbon for the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the Centennial Medal of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mint Award for dissemination of numismatic knowledge.  Ross was an accomplished musician who played euphonium in the Guelph Concert Band.

The drainage industry and his long time home of Guelph have lost a valued friend, a dedicated worker and an all round great man.



Written by John R. Ogilvie and Franklin Kains

Published in General News
Sunday, 15 September 2013 00:35

Latest CBE Journal and Conference Publications

CBE Journal

Analysis of energy requirement for hemp fibre decortication using a hammer mill.
Xu, J., Y. Chen, C. Laguë, H. Landry and Q. Peng. 2012

Characterization of provincially inspected slaughterhouse wastewater in Ontario, Canada
Ping F. Wu And Gauri S. Mittal

Effect of load fixture design on sensitivity of an extended octagonal ring (EOR) transducer.
McLaughlin, N.B., B.S. Patterson and S.D. Burtt.

Effect of strain gage misalignment on cross sensitivity of extended ring (ER) transducers
McLaughlin, N.B., and Y. Chen

Effects of tire inflation pressure and field traffic on compaction of a sandy clay soil as measured by cone index and permeability.
Chehaibi, S., M. Khelifi, A. Boujelban, K. Abrougui.

Evaluation of CANWET model for hydrologic simulations for upper Canagagigue Creek watershed in southern Ontario
Singh, A., R. P. Rudra, and B. Gharabaghi

Extending riverbed filtration design velocity for horizontal wells from model to prototypes.
Kim, S-H., K-H. Ahn, S.O. Prasher and R.M. Patel.

Measured and predicted temperatures in a grain processing building under heat treatment – 1. Temperature profiles during heat treatment.
Jian, F., P.G. Fields, D.S. Jayas, N.D.G. White and M. Loganathan.

Measured and predicted temperatures in a grain processing building under heat treatment – 2. Mathematical modeling of heat and mass transfer during heat treatment.
Jian, F., P.G. Fields, D.S. Jayas, N.D.G. White and M. Loganathan.

Mesophilic anaerobic digestion of damask rose bagasse with different proportions of cattle manure.
Doaguie, A.R., A. Ghazanfari and L.G. Tabil.

Suitability of sunflower-hulls-based turkey litter for on-farm turkey carcass composting.
Rahman, S.

Feasibility of the application of electronic nose technology to detect insect infestation in wheat
Wu, J., D.S. Jayas, Q. Zhang, N.D.G. White, R.K. York


2013 AGM and Technical Conference, Saskatoon.

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2011 AGM and Technical Conference, Winnipeg.

They are finally available online! Browse our publications directory.


Published in General News
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