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(306) 373-9922

Fax: 306-955-2510

2105 – 8th Street East

Saskatoon, SK, S7H 5N9

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Prairie Swine Centre  >  Engineering
Engineering Research Group

The goals of the Engineering Research Program at the Prairie Swine Centre are to improve the barn’s physical environment and reduce overall production cost by developing economical and practical techniques and by modifying the barn operational systems to enhance efficiencies and ensure the health and safety of barn workers and animals.  In addition to reduce the environmental footprint of pork production through breakthroughs in the science of odour and gas emissions, nutrient and water management, and utility and resource efficiency.

Current Areas of Research
  1. Comparative evaluation of infra-red and forced air convection heating systems for hog barns
  2. Engineering and management measures to reduce environmental emissions and improve the work environment in swine barns
  3. Novel application of nanoparticles for controlling odor and gaseous emissions from swine barns
  4. Improving energy efficiency in swine barns to reduce cost of production
  5. Benchmarking water use and developing strategies for water conservation in swine production
Current Engineering Group Members

Bernardo Predicala, PhD
Research Scientist

Dr. Predicala manages the Engineering Research Program at PSCI with the following goals: to address environmental sustainability issues associated with swine production and to optimize the physical environment in swine production facilities to enhance performance and reduce production cost. For the past 7 years, Dr. Predicala has secured more than C$1.7 million in extramural research funding for individual and collaborative projects mainly aimed to ensure health and safety of barn workers and pigs, control environmental emissions, and comply with applicable environmental and occupational regulations. During this period, he has supervised and coordinated the work of a team of Post-doctoral Fellows (2), Research Assistants (4), Research Technicians (3), Graduate Students (3 Ph.D. students, 4 M.Sc. students), and Undergraduate Student Assistants (4) in the implementation of project workplans. Dr. Predicala also holds concurrent appointment as Adjunct Professor at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. He is also actively engaged with professional societies, currently serving as an officer of the Canadian Society for Bioengineering, as member of various committees of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and as Associate Editor and reviewer for professional journals.

Alvin Alvarado, MSc.
Research Assistant

Alvin Alvarado is an Engineering graduate student who will continue the work on investigating the use of nanoparticles for controlling emissions from manure slurry. He started on his M.Sc. program at the Department of Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering this January 2009. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Engineering (with honors) from Leyte State University, Philippines in 2005 and was the topnotcher in the Philippine licensure examination for professional agricultural engineers in the same year. Alvin worked as an instructor in the same university where he taught courses in Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, and Physics prior to coming to Saskatoon.

Miguel Angelo Guevarra, BSc.
Engineering Research Technician

Angelo is an Electrical Engineering graduate from the University of Saskatchewan. Grew up in the Philippines and migrated to Canada with my family when I was 15. Hired by PSC thru the Canada Youth Summer Job program and later absorbed to take on the position of Research Assistant in the Engineering Research program. On my spare time I like watching movies, and doing outdoor activities such as biking, wall climbing, hiking, and snowboarding in the winter.

Micah Sapaden, BSc.
Engineering M.Sc. student

Micah has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Mariano Marcos State University in the Philippines and has worked in the fields of solar renewable energy and building construction from 2017 to 2019. She developed an interest in livestock animals while growing up on the outskirts of her home town in the Philippines. She started on her M.Sc program in Biological Engineering at the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in January 2020. Under the supervision of Dr. Bernardo Predicala, she will be working on the “Optimization and evaluation of a prototype trailer to enhance the biosecurity and welfare of livestock animals during transport.” The enclosed prototype trailer was built with filtered air ventilation system, which she will evaluate for efficacy in protecting transported animals against the threat of airborne diseases. Micah plans to pursue a career in swine biosecurity and welfare after she completes her Master’s degree.

Marjorette Baguindoc, BSc.
Engineering M.Sc. Student

Mash for short, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in the Philippines, where she also worked as administrative staff at the Pollution Control Unit. During her field work, she developed an interest in environmental sustainability and livestock biosecurity. Mash was a member of the research committee which worked with Dr. Bernardo Predicala on swine projects during his visit to MMSU as a BSP Consultant. Afterwards, she obtained a research assistantship to pursue graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan as a Master’s student in Biological Engineering.  Her thesis project focuses on the evaluation of alternative sanitization and disinfection measures for enhanced pathogen control, aiming to address the increased prevalence of disease-causing microorganisms by developing alternative disinfection measures for controlling antibiotic-resistant pathogens.