Dr. John A. Conkling received in bachelor's of science degree from Washington College in Chestertown, MD in 1965 and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 1969. Dr. Conkling returned to Washington College as a chemistry professor and colleague of Dr. Joseph McLain, who at the time was studying energetic materials and pyrotechnics, which Dr. Conkling began to study for his career. As former executive director and technical director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, Dr. Conkling is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost experts in pyrotechnics. Dr. Conkling conducted The Summer Pyrotechnic Seminar at Washington College for 29 years and is the original author of Chemistry of Pyrotechnics: Basic Principles and Theory in 1985. Dr. Conkling retired from Washington College in 2012 and was awarded the Alumni Service Award in 2013. Dr. Conkling currently splits his time between Chestertown and Texas to be with his family. Chris Mocella received his bachelor's of science degree in chemistry from Washington College in Chestertown, MD in 2001, having studied as a research associate under Dr. John Conkling. Chris continued to work with Dr. Conkling at his Summer Pyrotechnics Seminar series and assisted with the second edition of the Chemistry of Pyrotechnics text. Following graduate studies in chemistry at the University of Virginia, Chris took a position as a chemist with the U.S. federal government where he continues his career today. Chris lives with his wife and son near Annapolis, MD.