A major way that the Society meets its goal of facilitating the exchange of information concerning the science and technology of energetic materials is through the sanctioning of seminars and workshops. Organizations seeking to host IPS-sanctioned events are invited to submit proposals as specified by the Society’s Constitution and Bylaws.
We’ve come a long way since 1968!
International Pyrotechnics Society Seminars and Workshops continue to be unique and valued venues for those engaged in the science, technology, and management of energetic materials.
Today, the IPS Seminars and Workshops are unparalleled in the extent of topics covered, which include all aspects of pyrotechnics, explosives, and propellants. Nowhere else do attendees have the opportunity to meet and network with such a diverse group of specialists from around the world!
The seminars have traditionally included time for social activities—this strengthens the cohesiveness of the energetic materials community and has led to long-lasting collaborations, working relationships, and friendships between participants.
A brief history, and a complete list of past seminars and workshops is provided below.
The 1st International Pyrotechnics Society Seminar took place in Estes Park, Colorado USA in August of 1968. It was organized by Robert (Bob) M. Blunt of the Denver Research Institute (DRI). In the preface of the proceedings, this gathering was referred to as the “First Military Pyrotechnics Seminar.”
Although it was hosted by DRI, it was also enthusiastically supported by the Concepts Development Division, Research and Development Department, U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot, Crane, Indiana (which is now called NSWC Crane). Dr. Bernard E. Douda, then just 16 years into his 60 year career at Crane, was instrumental in promoting the seminar.
The photo key identifies the participants. High resolution versions of this photograph and the key are available in the Members Only area.
Given the success of this first seminar, additional ones were organized throughout the 1970s. In 1976, Bob Blunt explained the origin of the seminars and those responsible for the initial idea:
“This seminar is the child—or perhaps the grandchild—of an idea that was discussed at length in 1967 by Jim Kottenstette, Ralph Williams, Bill Cronk, Bernie Douda and me. The idea as it was debated among us was concerned with the need for formal course work to provide an educational grounding in Ordnance Science and Engineering similar to the existing courses in other engineering fields of specialization. Unfortunately, this idea never came to be a reality, but it did form the kernel around which the first Seminar in Estes Park was built, with great help and encouragement from Bill Cronk and Bernie Douda.”
Bob Blunt, Chairman of the 5th IPS Seminar,
Excerpt from the preface of the proceedings.
In the early 1980s it was decided to increase the frequency of the seminars by holding some outside of the United States. The Society initially achieved this by sanctioning the events of other organizations. The first combined event took place in 1985 when the 10th IPS Seminar was held in conjunction with the 16th International Annual Conference of the Fraunhofer ICT in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Since then, IPS has sanctioned numerous seminars in countries other than the U.S. These include France (6 times), Germany (2 times), China (2 times), and one seminar in each of the following countries: Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Russia, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
In France, the International GTPS Seminar has occurred in conjunction; since 1999 the combined events have been referred to as the “EuroPyro” series.
Traditionally, seminars held in the U.S. have occurred in even years and those held elsewhere have occurred in odd years. The U.S. seminars have almost exclusively occurred in Colorado, with only one exception—the 24th in Monterey, California.
The origins of the International Pyrotechnics Society as we know it today are intertwined with events occurring at the early U.S. seminars. The U.S. seminars were chaired by Bob Blunt and hosted by DRI from 1968-1978. These responsibilities were transferred to Dr. Allen J. Tulis of IIT Research Institute (Chicago, Illinois) before the 7th seminar in 1980.
The 1980 seminar was also distinguished by the formation of a formalized steering committee, which included five members: Tulis, Blunt, Dr. David H. Anderson (Sandia National Laboratories), Dr. David R. Dillehay (Thiokol), and Dr. Bernard E. Douda (NWSC, Crane). These five had also founded the International Pyrotechnics Society shortly before, and were the Society’s first Officers (and the initial members of the Board of Directors).
The composition of the steering committee and that of the IPS Board of Directors gradually diverged. Blunt remained the steering committee’s chairman emeritus until his death in 1995 and subsequently the 22nd IPS Seminar was dedicated to him.
The steering committee was incorporated in 1999 and later renamed IPSUSA Seminars, Inc., which continues to host the U.S. seminars to this day. The year 2000 brought change with Dr. James E. Kennedy (Los Alamos National Laboratory) chairing the 27th seminar. Dr. Bernard E. Douda (NSWC Crane) subsequently served as a co-chair of the U.S. seminars until his retirement.
Every IPS Seminar has been accompanied by a book of proceedings, which contain a wealth of information of interest to the energetic materials community.
Since 2004, the Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms has often occurred as a separate event in conjunction with IPS Seminars. This one day workshop has featured extended presentations by invited specialists.
Past Seminars and Workshops Sanctioned by the International Pyrotechnics Society
1st IPS Seminar, Estes Park, Colorado USA, August 13-16, 1968
2nd IPS Seminar, Aspen, Colorado USA, July 20-24, 1970
3rd IPS Seminar, Colorado Springs, Colorado USA, August 21-25, 1972
4th IPS Seminar, Steamboat Springs, Colorado USA, July 22-26, 1974
5th IPS Seminar, Vail, Colorado USA, July 12-16, 1976
6th IPS Seminar, Estes Park, Colorado USA, July 17-21, 1978
7th IPS Seminar, Vail, Colorado USA, July 14-18, 1980
8th IPS Seminar, Steamboat Springs, Colorado USA, July 12-16, 1982
9th IPS Seminar, Colorado Springs, Colorado USA, August 6-10, 1984
10th IPS Seminar / 16th Int. Ann. Conf. Fraunhofer ICT, Karlsruhe GERMANY, July 2-5, 1985
11th IPS Seminar, Vail, Colorado USA, July 7-11, 1986
12th IPS Seminar / 3rd Int. GTPS Seminar, Jaun-Les-Pins FRANCE, June 8-12, 1987
13th IPS Seminar, Grand Junction, Colorado USA, July 11-15, 1988
14th IPS Seminar, Jersey, Channel Islands UK, September 18-22, 1989
15th IPS Seminar, Boulder, Colorado USA, July 9-13, 1990
16th IPS Seminar, Jönköping SWEDEN, June 24-28, 1991
17th IPS Seminar / 2nd Beijing Int. Sym. Pyro. Explos., Beijing CHINA, October 28-31, 1991
18th IPS Seminar, Breckenridge, Colorado USA, July 13-17, 1992
19th IPS Seminar, Christchurch NEW ZEALAND, February 20-25, 1994
20th IPS Seminar, Colorado Springs, Colorado USA, July 25-29, 1994
21st IPS Seminar, Moscow RUSSIA, September 11-15, 1995
22nd IPS Seminar, Fort Collins, Colorado USA, July 15-19, 1996
23rd IPS Seminar, Tsukuba JAPAN, September 30 – October 4, 1997
24th IPS Seminar, Monterey, California USA, July 27-31, 1998
25th IPS Seminar / EuroPyro 99 / 7th Int. GTPS Seminar, Brest FRANCE, June 7-11, 1999
26th IPS Seminar, Nanjing CHINA, October 1-4, 1999
27th IPS Seminar, Grand Junction, Colorado USA, July 16-21, 2000
28th IPS Seminar, Adelaide AUSTRALIA, November 4-9, 2001
29th IPS Seminar, Westminster, Colorado USA, July 14-19, 2002
30th IPS Seminar / EuroPyro 2003 / 8th Int. GTPS Seminar, Saint-Marlo FRANCE, June 23-27, 2003
31st IPS Seminar, Fort Collins, Colorado USA, July 11-16, 2004
1st Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, July 10, 2004
32nd IPS Seminar / 36th Int. Ann. Conf. Fraunhofer ICT, Karlsruhe GERMANY, June 28 – July 1, 2005
2nd Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, June 27, 2005
33rd IPS Seminar, Fort Collins, Colorado USA, July 16-21, 2006
3rd Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, July 15, 2006
4th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, June 25, 2007
[Held in conjunction with the 38th Int. Ann. Conf. Fraunhofer ICT, Karlsruhe GERMANY]
34th IPS Seminar / EuroPyro 2007 / 9th Int. GTPS Seminar, Beaune FRANCE, October 8-11, 2007
5th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, October 6, 2007
35th IPS Seminar, Fort Collins, Colorado USA, July 13-18, 2008
6th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, July 12, 2008
36th IPS Seminar, Rotterdam THE NETHERLANDS, August 23-28, 2009
7th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, August 22, 2009
37th IPS Seminar / EuroPyro 2011 / 10th Int. GTPS Seminar, Reims FRANCE, May 17-19, 2011
8th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, May 14, 2011
38th IPS Seminar, Denver, Colorado USA, June 10-15, 2012
9th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, June 9, 2012
39th IPS Seminar, Valencia SPAIN, May 27-31, 2013
10th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, May 25, 2013
40th IPS Seminar, Colorado Springs, Colorado USA, July 13-18, 2014
11th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, July 12, 2014
41st IPS Seminar / EuroPyro 2015 / 11th Int. GTPS Seminar, Toulouse FRANCE, May 4-7, 2015
42nd IPS Seminar, Grand Junction, Colorado USA, July 10-15, 2016
12th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, July 9, 2016
13th Workshop on Pyrotechnic Combustion Mechanisms, June 26, 2017
[Held in conjunction with the 48th Int. Ann. Conf. Fraunhofer ICT, Karlsruhe GERMANY]