Register now for the 27th annual Best in the West Drill and Blast Conference held April 23-25, 2014, at the Spearfish Holiday Inn Convention Center in Spearfish, S.D.

The conference is an intensive three day event that brings together mining companies, drilling and blasting suppliers and government agencies. The focus is innovation, safety and government regulation. More than 300 attendees and 40 exhibitors are expected this year.

One of the biggest highlights of the conference is the scholarship benefit auction. The money raised from Best in the West goes to fund scholarship programs. The Best in the West has raised more $100,000 for scholarships throughout the past 20 years.

Lodging

The Spearfish Holiday Inn Convention Center has special room rates of $95 per night for a single/double or $125.99 a night for a suite. For an additional $10, rooms can be poolside. To get the special room rates, use the group code BIW when booking. Reservations can be made at www.holiday-inn.com/spearfishsd or by phone at 605.642.4683.

Register Now (PDF) Conference Website

More than 80 explosives industry professionals and six exhibitors packed the Embassy Suites Hotel in Huntsville, Ala., on Thursday, March 27 for the first Southeast Blasting Workshop.

Held by the ISEE, the workshop was a full day of presentations covering explosives safety, vibration control, electronic detonators, blast reporting and updates from the ATF and MSHA. Workshop attendees qualified for blaster’s training recertification hours from several states.

Sponsors included Sauls Seismic; TN Volunteer ISEE Chapter; Blasters Tool and Supply; and APT Research. 

Hazmat Training

Hazmat was the focus on Friday, March 28, as ISEE sponsored the Class 1 Explosives Specific Hazmat Safety Training at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR).

The half-day program satisfied the major requirements of the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 49 CFR Part 172.704.Topics included hazmat preparation, documentation, hazard communication, handling, emergency response, cargo segregation and security awareness. 

Tom Snyder, Austin Powder Company and COHMED award-winning hazmat professional, and Tom Dunaway, former FEMA specialist and DOT consultant, led discussions including the hazmat table, marking, labeling and placarding and security plan components. Each module included a test. Attendees received a certificate of training, as well as a workbook and a copy of the 2012 Emergency Response Guide, compliments of Austin Powder Company.

Calling all students pursuing an education degree related to the commercial explosives industry: The SEE Education Foundation is awarding close to $60,000 in scholarships for the 2014-2015 school year, and you may be eligible.

Eligible students must be pursuing a technical, undergraduate, graduate or doctorate degree in fields of education related to the commercial explosives industry. Students also must be able to demonstrate the need for financial assistance. The deadline to apply is May 30, 2014.

The SEE Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 1996 to serve the long-term education interests of the explosives industry through the development of education and training materials, championing the inclusion of explosives instruction in engineering curricula and awarding scholarships to eligible students.

 Download an Application

Register now for the Southeast Blasting Workshop held March 27 or for the Hazmat Class 1 Explosives Specific Training held on March 28 before next week’s deadlines. After March 20, registration for the blasting workshop will increase to $95. March 20 is also the last day to register for hazmat training. Visit the Southeast Blasting webpage for all the details and to register. Exhibitor space is still available.

About the Southeast Blasting Workshop

The blasting workshop will be at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Huntsville, Ala. It includes 8 professional development hours. Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio and Alabama have approved the program for retraining hours. Check with your state regulatory authority to see if the workshop hours are covered in your state.

About the Hazmat Class 1 Explosives Specific Training

The ISEE is sponsoring Hazmat Class 1 Explosives Specific Training at the National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR) in Huntsville, Ala. 

The 4-hour program is designed to satisfy the major requirements of the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 49 CFR Part 172.704.Topics include hazmat preparation, documentation, hazard communication, handling, emergency response, cargo segregation and security awareness. Hazmat training registration is $115 per person.

 

More than 1,300 people from around the world met Feb. 9-12, 2014, in Denver, Colo., for the 40th Annual Conference on Explosives and Blasting Technique, the world’s largest conference on explosives engineering.

For the second consecutive year, the SEE Education Foundation live auction raised more than $20,000. Big-ticket items included a 16-piece mineral collection and a handmade Education Foundation quilt. 

The money raised through the auction will go to the Education Foundation ISEE Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to college students from across the globe who are pursuing a career in the blasting industry. 

Awards Banquet

The banquet also honored people who made outstanding contributions to the explosives engineering industry. Arlene Chafe was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for her 22 years of work in the explosives industry at ISEE. Chafe retired from the ISEE in 2013, where she wore many hats, but was primarily responsible for developing education materials, publications and textbooks for the explosives industry.

John Floyd was also honored with the Distinguished Service Award. The past ISEE board member founded Blast Dynamics, Inc., an international blast-engineering firm. Since its inception, he has assisted with projects on six continents.

The ISEE President’s Award, which is given to those who have unselfishly given their time and talents to the society, was awarded to Debra Satkowiak, ATF; Stephen Chung, author; and Bill O’Brien, ATF.

Alan Hooper, Hooper Demolition Inc. president, was awarded the ISEE Driller’s Leadership Award for the extraordinary amount of time and knowledge he has given to help fellow drillers. And John Wiegand, Vibronics Inc. president, was honored with the Blaster’s Leadership Award. 

Passing of the Gavel

After the award winners were honored, ISEE Board President John Capers symbolically passed the gavel, ending his two-year term, to new board president Mike Koehler. As an ISEE member for more than 20 years, Koehler has worked closely with ISEE staff and members on countless projects. He previously served on the ISEE Board of Directors as the vice president of administration.