International Pyrotechnics Society

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International Pyrotechnics Society
Founded 1980
Type Professional Organization
Origins Biennial Pyrotechnic Seminars held since 1968
Area served
Method Conferences, Workshops, Publications
Key people
Dr. Ernst-Christian Koch (current president)

The International Pyrotechnics Society (IPS) is the professional society for the field of pyrotechnics. The IPS was officially founded in May 1980.


Apart from homogeneous Energetic Materials such as High Explosives and Propellants, those materials constituted from separate fuel and oxidizer particles are called pyrolants, or more commonly, Pyrotechnics. Those specialists working in the field of pyrotechnics are organized into the International Pyrotechnics Society.


In the 1960s some of these specialists attended meetings to share experiences, to present their work, their research and to meet new people. These meetings started as "the Colorado meetings", organized by the late Dr. Robert M. Blunt (1916-1995), and this later was formalized into what is currently known as the IPS [1]

The International Pyrotechnics Society was officially formed in May 1980.[2] However, The International Pyrotechnics Society can claim that its roots go back to 1968 when the First International Pyrotechnics Seminar was held at Estes Park Colorado, USA.[3] In fact it was the Steering Committee of the Sixth International Pyrotechnics Seminar who officially formed the International Pyrotechnics Society. The Society has continued to sanction International Pyrotechnics Seminars.[4][5][6][7][8][9] These have normally been held in the United States every other year and other countries such as Australia, China, France, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands during alternative years. Over the years the membership of the Society has grown to approximately 275 in 30 countries.

Purposes of this Society[edit]

  • To promote and facilitate the exchange of information concerning the science and technology of energetic materials, including propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics, among all interested persons
  • To create and maintain information resources which can expedite and enhance a member’s search for information regarding the science and technology of energetic materials as well as information on devices and applications which utilize energetic materials.
  • To encourage research and education in the science and technology of energetic materials.

Seminars and Workshops[edit]

The IPS sponsors or sanctions seminars on topics in the field of energetic materials research, development, technology and applications on an annual basis. In even years seminars are held in USA, in the uneven years the seminars are held outside the USA and are often jointly organized with similar organizations and institutes such as the French Association of Pyrotechnic.[10] Since 2004 the IPS has an additional function which is the Annual Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion mechanism.

Promoting Young Scientists[edit]

The IPS aims to help young scientists to develop their career in this field of work. For each Seminar a bursary can be awarded to assist young pyrotechnicians to attend and present their work at International Seminars sponsored by the Society by contributing to their travelling costs. The Bursary is known as the Frank Carver Bursary and is administrated by a Bursary Committee under the auspices of the Society.[11]


The official publication of the IPS is the Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics journal published bimonthly by Wiley-VCH-publisher in Weinheim/Germany.

List of officials[edit]

Elected IPS Presidents since 1980
# Name Country Duration
1 Dr. Robert Matteson Blunt  United States 1980 – 1984
2 Dr. Allen J. Tulis  United States 1984 – 1986
3 Dr. David Dillehay  United States 1986 – 1988
4 Dr. Bernard E. Douda  United States 1988 – 1990
5 Dr. David Anderson  United States 1990 – 1992
6 Jan Hansson  Sweden 1992 – 1994
7 Leo Saulnier  Canada 1994 – 1996
8 Dr. Nigel Davies  United Kingdom 1996 – 1998
9 Alain Fauconnier  France 1998 – 2000
10 Guy Hendrickx  Belgium 2000 – 2002
11 Dr. Tony Cardell  United Kingdom 2002 – 2004
12 Dr. Bill Hubble  United States 2004 – 2006
13 Al Munger  United States 2006 – 2008
14 Rutger Webb  Netherlands 2008 – 2010
15 Dr. Tracy A. Vine  United Kingdom 2010 – 2012
16 Dr. Ernst-Christian Koch  Germany 2012 – 2016


  1. ^ [1] IPS website
  2. ^ [2] IPS Constitution & Bylaws
  3. ^ Proceedings International Pyrotechnics Seminar (1st), Held at Estes Park, Colorado, August 12–17, 1968
  4. ^ [3] Proceedings International Pyrotechnics Seminar (2nd), Held at Snowmass-at-Aspen, Colorado, 20–24 July 1970
  5. ^ [4] Proceedings International Pyrotechnics Seminar (3rd), Held at Colorado Springs, Colorado, 21–25 August 1972
  6. ^ [5] Proceedings of International Pyrotechnics Seminar (4th), Held at Steamboat Village, Colorado, 22–26 July 1974
  7. ^ [6] Proceedings of the International Pyrotechnics Seminar (5th) Held 12–16 July 1976, Vail, Colorado.
  8. ^ [7] Proceedings of the International Pyrotechnics Seminar (6th) Held at Estes Park, Colorado, 17–21 July 1978
  9. ^ [8] Proceedings of the International Pyrotechnics Seminar (7th) Held at Vail, Colorado, 14–18 July 1980. Volume 1
  10. ^ [9] Homepage of the French Association of Pyrotechnics AFP
  11. ^ IPS Frank Carver Bursary Page