By Jack Eloranta, ISEE President, and James Daley, Incoming ISEE President

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us. (Winston Churchill)

New buildings are fun. Many recall the childhood memories of the magical feeling of moving into a new house. In high school, our class was the first to attend all four years in a new building. The lockers, gym floor and wide hallways were something to behold. We held our 50th class reunion in September, and the memory is still vivid.

In a few short weeks, the ISEE staff will move into new headquarters. While they are not brand new – the interior makeover certainly is. The layout with open space for interaction will, as Churchill opined, facilitate teamwork and interaction.

The selling, buying and remodeling has consumed a large share of your Board’s time in the past year. However, brick and mortar changes are not the only building projects going on in ISEE. Human assets, being far more valuable than physical ones, are the focus of the Society. Staff team building has been taking place. Our Society is only as effective as our people. Just as in the case of physical buildings, teams need to be structured in accordance with their intended purpose; in this case, delivering value to our members.

Building training modules continues at an increasing pace. Like most building projects, it is taking more time than we first anticipated. However, when these well-crafted modules become available, users are sure to be delighted. Educational scholarship funding is building to new heights. You can expect to hear about new ideas and new directions for educational funding in the coming year. Your Board and especially, your incoming President, want to see monies allocated to training people working out in the field as well as in the academic world.

We are building a bridge to the new generation of blasters. As time goes by, the Founders of ISEE are disappearing from the scene. The loss of past president, Dale Ramsey, was a stark reminder of how much those folks have continued to contribute. We will not allow attrition to slow our Society. Our salvation lies in the huge pool of energy and talent that is the Emerging Professionals (EPs). This section provides a conduit for motivated members early in their career. We all realize that the world spins ever faster and the notion that EPs must wait a decade to make their mark is totally outdated. The Society and the newer members gain immeasurably from this arrangement.

Your incoming president and entire Board is energized and committed to deliver more value to members. Modern communication has forever changed how we exchange information. One thing that will not change is the comradery amongst blasters. Maybe the greatest of building projects is that of lifelong friendships.

Register now for the 31st annual Best in the West Drill and Blast Conference held April 18-20, 2018, at the Spearfish Holiday Inn Convention Center in Spearfish, South Dakota.

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.

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.

Best in the West Registration

Registration is now open for FRAGBLAST 12. The symposium will be June 9-15, 2018, in Luleå, Sweden.

Sign up today to network with industry colleagues while learning the latest techniques and practices in rock blasting and explosives engineering.

Professor José Sanchidrian, Universidad Politéchnica de Madrid & Chairman of Fragblast International Committee; Professor Wenbo Lu, Director at State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering, Wuhan University; and Professor Finn Ouchterlony, emeritus Luleå University and head of Swebrec and now active at Montanuniversität Leoben, will be this year's keynote presenters.

Workshops and courses before FRAGBLAST 12, and a 2 day mine tour through the northern mining district of Sweden will be offered. Sponsorships are also available.

Register today.

FRAGBLAST 12 Registration

The ISEE Membership Directory and Desk Reference is the most comprehensive who’s who publication in the explosives industry. Now you can make your company shine and target explosives industry leaders by advertising in the Membership Directory Yellow Pages.

Ads start at $125. Reserve yours today. Download an order form here. The deadline to reserve your space is Monday, April 2. For more information, contact Dede Manross at 801.942.5650 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The SEE Education Foundation will be awarding $81,000 in scholarships to students pursuing degrees related to the explosives industry. Each year, the Scholarship Committee reviews and scores applications from students in a wide range of disciplines and make awards ranging from $1,500 to a top award of $7,500 to one well-qualified student. The scholarship acceptance period will run from March 5 to May 4, 2018.


To be eligible for scholarship funding, students must be, or plan to be, pursuing a technical, undergraduate, master’s or doctorate degree in fields of study related to the commercial explosives industries. Students will be assessed on their academic and professional achievements, their goals related to the industry, personal challenges narrative and statement of financial need. The deadline to apply is May 4, 2018.


Visit www.isee.org/students for more information and to download an application.


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.