The Ohio Drilling & Blasting Conference was held March 26-27, 2015, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. The conference was co-sponsored by the International Society of Explosives Engineers (ISEE), the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) and Ohio Coal Association. It was endorsed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

More than 150 attendees participated in the event that featured 19 exhibit booths and a full day of presentations from explosives industry experts. This year’s program began with opening remarks from ISEE Executive Director J. Winston Forde; Patrick Jacomet, from OAIMA; and Christian Palich, from the Ohio Coal Association. The program included eight speakers who covered underground blasting, waveforms, public relations, demolition blasting and current compliance issues. Attendees qualified for blasters training recertification hours from several states.

The highlight of the event included presentations of the Blaster of the Year Award and Driller of the Year awards. This year’s blaster recognition was awarded to Glen Swaldo, of Austin Powder Co. The driller awards were presented to Bob Beckley, from Hilltop Energy Inc., and Donald Bittner, from Demtech, LLC. Donald was also accompanied by his wife, Cindy.

The Ohio Drilling and Blasting Conference is a biennial event that serves as a platform for the exchange of the industry’s best practices. This year’s sponsors include the ISEE, Austin Powder, Nobel Insurance and Tread Corporation.