Biosystems Research

>> BIOSYSTEMS ENGINEERING RESEARCH

FIELDS OF RESEARCH

Environment
Environmental impact assessments of agricultural and food production; animal and plant growth environments; management and utilization of agricultural and food processing wastes; land application of manure; odour measurement and control; protection and remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater; site preparation and selection; and environments in buildings designed for biological processes.

Food Engineering
Infrared processing of food; superheated steam drying; preservation and transport containers for meat; modified atmosphere storage of meat, fruits, and vegetables; fast freezing of fruits; math-ematical modelling of food systems; compaction of flour; physical, thermal, and rheological prop-erties of foods; and water activities of foods.

Instrumentation
Computer analysis of images for grading, orientation, and automation; sensors and data acquisition for biological systems.

Post-Harvest Preservation of Grains
Inter-disciplinary research on grain storing and dry-ing systems; computer simulation of stored-grain ecosystems, physical methods of controlling insects and microorganisms; machine vision for automated handling and classification of grain; properties of grains and oilseeds; expert systems for managing stored products.

Power and Machinery
Harvesting and processing of new crops such as hemp and sea buckthorn; precision farming, equipment for manure handling; guidance systems for agricultural machinery; tillage and seeding.

Soil and Water
Irrigation and drainage engineering; soil-plant-water relations; flow and contaminant transport in porous media.

Structures
Structural aspects of light-frame buildings; bulk solids storage structures (bins and silos); bulk properties of grains and powders; flow of bulk solids; use of wood and other structural materials; expert system-based structural design.


RESEARCH FACILITIES

Departmental research facilities include: porous-media laboratory; superheated-steam drier; infrared treatment equipment; differential scanning calorimeter; soil bin; loading frames for structural testing of wood beams, columns, and trusses; computer-controlled data acquisition systems, computers, and olfactometer for odour measurement; and access to a university farm for research on both animal and crop production. A 1400-m2 laboratory for research on stored-grain ecosystems is under construction. The new facility will include: machine vision equipment; a soft x-ray unit; near-ambient, high temperature, infrared and microwave driers; a fan-testing unit; instrumentation for measuring loads in grain storage structures; equipment to measure physical, thermal, biological, and quality characteristics of grains and oilseeds; thermal disinfestation systems; environmental chambers; grain handling and cleaning equipment; and several grain bins.