Thursday, 01 July 2010 11:17

Saskatchewan Annual Report 2009-2010

One highlight of the past year was the first Bioengineering Day jointly organized by the Department of Agricultural & Bioresource Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan section of CSBE last November 27th, 2009. Spearheaded by Prof. Ross Welford and Dr. Predicala, the goal of the event was to foster closer interaction and networking between industry professionals, society members, and students and academicians. More than 60 participants, including past graduates, industry representatives, students, parents, and college staff attended the event.


The membership roster listed 106 members with Saskatchewan address who paid membership dues for the past year. A quick look at past available data showed that this number is down slightly from 111 in 2008; more interestingly, only a total of 61 members renewed their membership from previous year, about 50 dropped out, and 45 new members signed up or re-activated their previously inactive membership for 2009. A membership information seminar was held at the ABE Seminar class to explain the benefits of CSBE/ASABE membership and the incentives offered to students to join the Society.

ABE Dept activities

Students, faculty and staff from the Department represented the University of Saskatchewan at the 2009 ASABE ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition held in Peoria, IL in May 2009. The UofS Sled Dogs ¼ Scale Tractor Team placed 12th in a field of 23 competitors; they won first place in overall design judging and placed fifth in the written design report, ergonomics, and sound.
The ABE Department was well represented in last year’s ASABE/CSBE North Central Inter-Sectional Conference held at the South Dakota State University at Brookings, South Dakota on September 17-19, 2009. A total of 10 faculty, staff, and students from the Department made 22 presentations during the conference.

This year, the Dept. of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering, with Prof. Terry Fonstad leading the effort, organized the C. J. Mackenzie Gala of Engineering Excellence held on January 14, 2010. With more than 500 alumni, faculty, staff, students, and industry representatives in attendance, the event aimed to celebrate the achievements of the most accomplished colleagues and alumni of the College of Engineering at UofS. The keynote lecture was delivered by alumnus Dr. David Manz (BE ’72), Ph.D., P.Eng., P.Ag., who is the developer of the BioSand Water Filter (BSF) technology currently in use worldwide to provide safe drinking water to disadvantaged communities.

A banquet was held to honor the 2010 Graduands of the Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering program on March 26, 2010. The event was attended by 18 of the 19 graduands as well as their parents, loved ones and faculty of the department.

A restructuring plan has been proposed at the College of Engineering at UofS which may involve merging of the ABE Dept with another department in the College. Efforts are being made by ABE Dept faculty and other stakeholders to ensure that the restructuring plan will not adversely affect the long-term sustainability of the Biological Engineering program at UofS.

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Bernardo Predicala

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