Saskatchewan Regional Director
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
Supervisor: Lope Tabil
CSBE/SCGAB Undergraduate Thesis Award:
Point row control for air seeders
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.)
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!
Several CSBE members were honored at the CSBE Annual Awards’ Banquet held during the Annual Meeting and Conference in Saskatoon last July, 2013. The Society is proud to recognize these individuals for their commitment and contribution to the engineering profession and society.
MAPLE LEAF AWARD
YOUNG ENGINEER OF THE YEAR AWARD
JOHN TURNBULL AWARD
JOHN CLARK AWARD
GLENN DOWNING AWARD
JIM BEAMISH AWARD
Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba
Undergraduate Design Project Award: Tyler Whettell, Tyler Maes, Sam Symons, Victoria Munroe, Matt Stephens, Steven Murray, Calving Ngan, Jason Lam, Yiu Cho Cheng, Parker Williams, Kalen Kerr, David Lipinski, Ian Swintak, Chi Tu, Patricia Fabros and Xiaodong Xu for International ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design
Undergraduate Thesis or Paper Award: Vanessa Krahn
Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc.): Idris Adelakun
CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship: Grace Kankindi
Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University
Undergraduate Design Project Award: Oliver Beaudin and Bryan Wattie
Undergraduate Thesis or Paper Award: Kaitlin Lloyd, Kendell McBride, Christopher McGuire, and Brenda Moore
Graduate Thesis Award (Ph.D.): Felix Jaria
Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc.): Shrikalaa Kannan
Undergraduate Team Competition Award: Martin Legault, Stephen McGuire, Antoine Pouliot, Trevor Stanhope, Mei Xiao, Sara Tawil, Quinn Burke Anderson, Sophie Lauzon, Frederic Rene-Laforest, Isabellie Cote-Laurin, Dzuy-Tam-Tran for ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition
CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship: Brenda Moore
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan
Undergraduate Design Project Award: Jeff Pridmore, Devin Barros, and Lane Forster
Undergraduate Paper Award: Aubrey Worobetz and Carolyn Osborne
Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc.): Alvin Alvarado
School of Engineering, University of Guelph
CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship: Evan Wright
Undergraduate Design Project Award: Alexis Wagner, Chris Geerts, and Neeti Sondi
CSBE/SCGAB Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc.): Matthew DiCicco
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
Saskatchewan CSBE members helped organize the CSBE AGM and Technical Conference which will be held at the University of Saskatchewan July 7 – 11, 2013. The theme was Interdisciplinary Engineering: Working together to develop sustainable solutions in agriculture and biosystems and the event showcased successful collaborations between industry and academia. The conference included workshops, technical tours and networking events such as an opening reception, BBQ and banquet. The technical program included over 80 oral presentations and over 30 poster presentations.
The 16th Annual International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Tractor Design Competition was held May 30 to June 2 in Peoria, Illinois.
The team from the University of Saskatchewan again impressed the industry judges and representatives with top finishes in:
Based on the team’s success over the years, the team secured strategic sponsorship agreements with CNH, Bourgault, Brandt, Kramer, strong support from APEGS, as well as support from Macdon, Hitachi, John Deere and others.
During the 2013 Spring Convocation, Elizabeth George received a M.Sc. in Biological Engineering while Ka Po Catherine Hui and Majid Soleimani Baghsorkhi received a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering. Six undergraduates received their B.Sc. in Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering (Allison Graham, Sheldon Gregoire, Burt Lozinsky, Carolyn Osborn, Beverly Rodowski and Shaun Turner). Beverly Rodowski was the recipient of the Oliver L. Symes Memorial Award and Carolyn Osborne earned the Clinton L. Armstrong Memorial Award.
The CSBE-SCGAB Conference for Interdisciplinary Engineering in Agriculture and Biosystems is quickly approaching! Plan to be in Saskatoon July 7-10 to attend this conference that will
showcase collaborations among engineering disciplines and between academia and industry. If you cannot attend the entire conference, you are welcome to sign up for the workshops and tours to earn professional development credits!
Workshops (July 7)
Workshop 1: Sharpening your Technical Communication Skills, presented by the Graham Centre for the Study of Communication
Workshop 2: Modeling Crop & Soil Flow Using Discrete Element Method, presented by CNH Canada and DEM Solutions
Workshop 3: Renewable Energy: Solar PV and Solar Thermal Systems, presented by Rob Baron, Centre for Sustainable Innovation at Lakeland College
Workshop 4: Renewable Energy: Biomass, presented by four speaker:
1. Alok Dhungana, Lakeland College, "Pyrolysis 101"
2. Jason Praski, Titan Clean Energy Solutions, "Large scale pyrolysis and it's industry applications"
3. Ben Voss, Meadow Lake Tribal Council, "Biomass combustion"
4. Mojgan Kovoosi, BECii, "Synergies of manure biogas, ethanol production and alage production
Tours (July 9)
Tour 1: Gardiner Dam-Lake Diefenbaker, Canada-Saskatchewan Irrigation Development Centre, Irrigation Farms
Tour 2: PoundMaker Feedlot and Ethanol Plant, Western Beef Development Centre (solid state anaerobic digester), Cargill Canola Crushing Plant
Tour 3: Canadian Light Source, CNH Saskatoon Plant, U of S Dairy Barn
You may pre-register online or register in person (workshops and tours are first come, first served).
For more information or to pre-register, visit the conference website: http://www.csbe-scgab.ca/saskatoon2013
What percentage of the advances in Prairie agriculture has resulted from engineering research and development? Few would argue against an answer stating that at least one-third or more of today’s agricultural progress stems from advances in agricultural and biological engineering research. Despite recognition of these contributions, future engineering research and development within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada stands to be seriously curtailed, because engineering is often viewed as support activity and primarily the responsibility of industry.
From the beginning, agricultural engineering played a lead role in federal agricultural research, especially at Swift Current. Today’s research facility in southwest Saskatchewan, the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre (SPARC), began in 1920 as the Dominion Experimental Farm at Swift Current with the objective “to discover suitable cultural methods and cropping systems for the dry areas of Saskatchewan and Alberta.” Its work included the evaluation of new farm machinery and engineering-based soil and water dryland research. Many of the earliest soil and crop management methods and implements were conceived, designed, and influenced by engineering work conducted at Swift Current: the first test combine, stubble mulching, harrow packing, soil listing, rod-weeding, cereal and forage research plot seeders and harvesters, openers for zero- and minimum-till drills, various crop harvesters for wind, snow, and biomass management, etc. Engineering designs for soil sampling, fertilizer placement, Prairie dam construction, irrigation works and projects, salinity control, community pastures, and the like were also initiated. In fact, the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) received its major start at the Swift Current Research Farm.
SPARC continues today as the only federal research centre in the Brown soil zone within the “Palliser Triangle.” With time, research programs for breeding semiarid plant crops, developing dryland agronomy, and promoting irrigated and non-irrigated forage production were added to the initial engineering research programs at the “Farm” during the thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies. In 1982, the Engineering Section consisted of eight engineers; two in machine design, one in tillage, one in irrigation, one in salinity, two in energy conservation and renewable energy, and one in Soil and Water (also the section head). This Engineering Section lasted for ten years, until, upon the loss of two engineering positions, it amalgamated with the Soils Section to form the Soils and Environment Section. By 1998, two more engineering positions were eliminated with a third in 2002, as retiring engineers were not replaced. This left only three engineering positions still existing from the eight that functioned 20 years earlier.
During the last two years, these three engineering research programs at SPARC have been or are closing: the Soil and Water, the Dryland Salinity, and the Engineering Design Research Programs. The engineers serving these programs have transferred to other research programs or have been asked to retire or resign. Soil and Water Engineer Brian McConkey is now a Strategic Coordinator for the Agricultural-Ecological Systems and Health Program; Harold Steppuhn has retired into a Honorary Scientist role (unpaid) to document 50 years of federal and provincial research in controlling dryland salinity; and Mark Stumborg has been asked to wind-down the Engineering Design and Biomass Development (Engineering) Programs.
The CSBE Annual Meeting and Conference will be held on the campus of the
The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute’s Applied Bioenergy Centre (ABC) designed and commissioned a pilot scale solid state anaerobic digester located at the Western Beef Development Centre Termuende Ranch near
The facility includes two batch reactors, each with a capacity for 10 tonnes of solid substrate. The system includes a leachate recirculation system (for inoculation and “mixing”) and a gas collection, metering and analysis instrumentation. Heated glycol piping inside the vessel maintains the temperature at
The scale of the pilot facility also allows assessment of the unique material handling requirements for solid state digestion. Unlike liquid digestion, the substrate cannot be pumped, metered or mixed mechanically. At 20% to 50% total solids content, solid state digesters have a small footprint and do not require water or generate wastewater. The technology allows solid organic waste to be digested in its natural form. The system can also handle heterogenous, “dirty” material that would cause sedimentation and clogging issues in a traditional liquid digester.
Digestion trials in 2012 utilized solid beef feedlot manure mixed with straw and trials planned for 2013 and 2014 will generate information on the digestion of feedlot manure, wet distiller’s grains, cull potatoes and deadstock. The ABC also collaborates with the
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.
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).
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.
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.
Maria 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.
Leila 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.
Lope Tabil, Professor at the Chemical and Biological Engineering, UofS was a Visiting Professor at the Department of Agricultural Engineering at China Agricultural University (CAU) in Beijing between May 10 to June 2, 2011. While there he gave a series of seminars on "Biological Materials Handling" to graduate students and faculty. Dr. Tabil has on-going collaborative research with CAU in the area of Forage and Biomass Process Engineering.
Lope Tabil (center) with Ph.D. and M.Sc. students and Dr. Steven Wang (right) after the last lecture presentation at China Agricultural University.
Phani Phani Adapa successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis titled "Densification of Selected Agricultural Crop Residues as Feedstock for the Biofuel Industry" on July 27, 2011. He was co-supervised by Dr. Lope Tabil and Dr. Greg Schoenau of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.