International Symposium on Fireworks Society

Board of Directors

(Ettore is on the left)

Ettore Contestabile

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

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 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.

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

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.

Christian Lohrer

Christian Lohrer

Christian Lohrer was born in Berlin, Germany. He studied Energy and Chemical Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin and thereafter joined BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing in 2002. Subsequently, Christian participated in the doctoral research program of BAM and finished his Ph.D. studies in the field of Chemical Engineering regarding self-ignition of solid fuels in 2005. He is currently working in the area of pyrotechnics, running research projects and is the head of the working group “Standardisation of Explosives” at BAM. In addition, he is involved within conformity assessment procedures for fireworks and theatrical pyrotechnic articles regarding EC type-examinations and performing QS audits. In his spare time he enjoys sports, a good espresso and - every now and then - sufficiently aged single malts.