International Symposium on Fireworks Society

Board of Directors

Ettore Contestablie

(Ettore is on the left)

Ettore Contestabile
Chairman

Ettore Contestabile has been chairman since the inception of the Symposia in 1992, and has successfully resisted many coups to de-throne him. 
He does stuff for the Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory.
He has mild to medium addictions to chocolate and expresso.

Roger Schneider

Roger Schneider
Vice-Chairman

Dr. Schneider is president of Rho Sigma Associates, a scientific and engineering consulting firm in the U.S., which he co-founded in 1974. He provides expertise in pyrotechnics and explosives to a diverse group of clients. With regards to fireworks, he is primarily interested in fireworks physics (or should that be fireworks fysics, or perhaps, phireworks physics?), but has been known to do R&D on pyrotechnic compositions and devices, laboratory analysis and testing, hazards evaluation and assessment, and accident investigation. Dr. Schneider holds a Ph.D. degree in physical inorganic chemistry with minors in physics and mechanical engineering (UWM, 1982).

Fred Wade

Fred Wade
Treasurer

Fred Wade took on the management and organization of the Symposia from the Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory in 2000, and has organized the Symposia since then.

He is President and owner of Fireworks FX, a display company on the east coast of Canada with another company Caribe FireFX in the Caribbean.

Christian Lohrer

Christian Lohrer
Secretary

Christian Lohrer was born in Berlin, Germany, and studied Energy and Process Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin and thereafter joined Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und –prüfung (BAM) in 2002. He is currently working in the field of energetic materials, running research projects on safety related behavior of pyrotechnics and continuous improvement/development of corresponding test methods and procedures. Christian furthermore participates in standardization activities regarding pyrotechnics, especially fireworks, at ISO and CEN level and coordinates this work at BAM as head of the group "Standardisation of Explosives/Pyrotechnics". In addition, he is involved in conformity assessment procedures for fireworks and theatrical pyrotechnic articles as an assessor and external auditor of quality systems for production and final end product testing. In his spare time he enjoys sports, a good espresso and - every now and then - sufficiently aged single malts from Scotland.

Julie Heckman

Julie Heckman

Julie is the Executive Director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, the leading trade association of the fireworks industry in the United States. Ms. Heckman directs the overall regulatory affairs of the APA, including the Association's Safety Program. She is frequently cited in the media (doing some 300 interviews a year) relating to her expertise in workplace safety, consumer products and hazardous materials regulations, as well as other fireworks-related issues.

Ms. Heckman has worked closely with the fireworks industry for the past 16 years. Her accomplishments include authoring "An Analysis of United States Fireworks-Related Injuries" (1996), published in the proceedings of the 3rd International Fireworks Symposium. She has served on the Technical Committee on Pyrotechnics of the National Fire Protection Association since 1990, and she serves on the Advisory Boards of the International Symposium on Fireworks Society, and The American Tribute Foundation.


Jorge Marquez


Mitsuri Arai

Mitsuri Arai

Dr. Mitsuru Arai is professor of the University of Tokyo in the field of chemistry of energetic materials and safety engineering.

He is chairman of the Japan Explosives Society and has been acting as judge at the fireworks contest of Omagari, which is one of the best fireworks competitions in Japan, since 2007, and at the fireworks contest of Sumida River which is one of the most prestigious fireworks competitions in Japan. Since he likes to enjoy a fireworks show with good wine, he always complains that they do not offer any wine during those contests at all. He has been involved in the Symposium since Malta, 2012.

Bert von Rosen

Bert von Rosen

Bert von Rosen is the Head of the Explosion Effects Group at the Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory where he has the enviable job of blowing things up and calling it research. Bert has been involved in the Symposium since Naples, 2000. His primary role has been to ensure that Ettore has sufficient coffee and chocolate at all times.

Andrew Tang

Andrew Tang

Mr. Andrew Tang, BSc. MPhil, CChem. FRSC, UK Registered Chemist, is currently General Manager of TCPL. Mr. Tang is a Charter Chemist specialized in Analytical Chemistry and has more than 35 years' experience in the quality assurance industry. Mr. Tang currently serves in China National Fireworks Standardization Committee, Deputy Secretary General of International Fireworks Association (IFA), member of expert committee of IFA, member of US AOAC, sub-committee of International Laboratory Management and Fellowship of UK Royal Chemistry Society. He has been managing complex testing projects and control programs in the fields of Fireworks, Toys, Household products, Environmental Monitoring Program, Food Production and Cosmetic Manufacturing. He was Chief in factory evaluation for fireworks manufacturing, Food and Drugs manufacturing and Medical Devices manufacturing base on cGMP/HACCP requirements. The first expert who brought testing to China fireworks industry. He has been the program manager of China Fireworks Testing program since 1994 for American Fireworks Standards Laboratory (AFSL). Mr. Tang has successfully established a quality assurance system for many factories and trading companies applying modules C, D and E under CE Directives 2007/23/EC and 2013/29/EU.