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.

If you haven’t made hotel reservations for our Southeast Blasting Workshop and Hazmat Class 1 Explosives Training, don’t wait any longer. The special room pricing ends Tuesday, March 4.

To receive discounted room rate of $139 for a single/double at the Embassy Suites Huntsville, 800 Monroe St., SW, call 256.539.7373 or click here. Please notify the hotel staff you are with the Southeast Blasting Workshop when making reservations. 

About the Workshop and Hazmat Training

Our first Southeast Blasters Workshop and Hazmat Class 1 Explosives Training will be March 27-28 in Huntsville, Ala. The March 27 blasting workshop will feature presentations on drilling and blasting; ATF regulations; vibration control; electronic detonators; blasting instrumentation and mapping; blast reporting and optimization; MSHA updates; and flyrock awareness.

The 4-hour hazmat training on March 28 will assist attendees who work with and transport explosives in understanding the major requirements of hazardous materials training. Topics include hazmat preparation, documentation, hazard communication, handling, emergency response, cargo segregation and security awareness.

For more information and to register, visit our Southeast Blasting page.


This exclusive 16-specimen collection includes extraordinary samples from all over North America. Sure to please any rock hound, this superb display includes a handcrafted, rough cedar display case and hard-to-find crystals from historic mining locations. Be sure not to let this gem pass you by. Only available at the 40th anniversary live auction. 

When: 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12.

This is a must-attend event at the ISEE Annual Conference for people and organizations who want to learn how to better protect their product and improve their understanding of best practices by participating in the Explosives Security Workshop.

Join government representatives and industry professionals in a discussion about the most important security topics relevant to manufacturing, storing and transporting explosives. The conversation will include a technical presentation regarding technological advancements in magazine security. Regulatory agencies will also be available to discuss guidelines in securing explosives materials.

Invited speakers include:

Off-the-Shelf Cellular-Based Magazine Security, David Buckwalter, Buckwalter Excavating

Magazine Locks Research, Kevin McNeill, Acting Explosive Chief, NCETR R&D

ATF Updates, William O’Brien, Explosives Industry Analyst, ATF

Explosives Transportation Security, Jack Whitley, Transportation Specialist, Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation

AN/Explosives Chemical Safety and Security Updates, David Wulf, Director, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division, Office of Infrastructure Protection, U. S. Department of Homeland Security

Click here to register for the conference today.

This popular and highly regarded one day seminar will take place on Saturday, Feb. 8. It was designed and presented for blasters by the best in the business to help plan and execute efficient blast designs, hear updates on regulations and safety and more. The seminar is included as part of the Blasters Weekend Package or sign up separately. A new segment this year is the “Blaster's Share” featuring a blaster sharing practical experience with other blasters. The topics and speakers include:

Introduction - Larry Mirabelli, Blasters Training Committee Chairman

Blaster’s No. 1 Safety Tool - Risk Analysis - Larry Mirabelli, Dyno Nobel Inc.

Critical Drilling Practices for Blast Efficiency - Joe Accardo, Sandvik

Critical Rules for Effective Use of Bulk Explosives - Dave Hunsaker, Dyno Nobel Inc.

Detailed Presplitting Guidelines that Guarantee Results in Medium to Large Diameter Holes - Frank Chiappetta, Blasting Analysis International

Blast Locations & Use of GPS - Jim Ratcliff, WV DEP/DMR

Initiation Systems - Electronic Detonator Safety - Bryan Papillion, Austin Powder

Blaster’s Share: Close-in Blasting to Protect a Multi-Billion Dollar Bio-Tech Process - Frank Chiappetta, Blasting Analysis International

Ducking Wild Flyrock - Simon Tose, AEL Mining Services

Blasters training registration fee includes lunch, coffee breaks and course materials. The seminar runs from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Registration opens Friday from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Saturday morning starting at 7 a.m. A certificate of attendance will be issued. The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming have accepted retraining credit hours in the past. Check with your state officials for more information.