Summernats-2010-028.JPG - largeHarold Upton - Senior Pyrotechnician

BSc (Hons), Dip Pyrotechnics, Dip FP, Dip FS | Supervising Pyrotechnician & Managing Director

Past President - Australian Fireworks Association

Australian Representative - International Fireworks Association - China

Training Committee - Pyrotechnic Guild International - USA

Harold Upton has been a professional Pyrotechnican since 1992 and has conducted over 1,000 fireworks displays in Australia and overseas.

Pyrotechnic Employment

Jul 92 - Oct 94

KC's Fireworks Displays


May 93 - Present

ACT Fireworks

Senior Pyrotechnician & Managing Director

May 93 - Jun 04

ACT Fireworks

Manager Retail Division

Oct 94 - Sep 00

KC's Fireworks Displays


Dec 99 - Jun 04

Australasian Spectaculars

Senior Pyrotechnician & Managing Director

Sep 00 - Present

KC's Fireworks Displays


May 01 - Present

Red Back Fireworks Australia

Technical Consultant

Feb 02 - Present

Black Widow Fireworks China

Technical Consultant

Apr 02 - Jun 03

Global Pyrotechnics

Manager & Pyrotechnician

Pyrotechnic & Scientific Training

May 84 Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours, Australian National University, Canberra
Feb 98 Fireworks & Stage FX America Certificate of Achievement to Safely Handle and Discharge Large Caliber Shells
Feb 98 Desert Blast Certificate of Excellence
Mar 98 Display Fireworks Shooters Certificate (Pyrotechnic Guild International Incorporated - PGI) First Australian Graduate
Aug 99 Certified Instructor for the PGI Display Fireworks Shooters Certificate (Only Instructor in Australia)
Oct 99 Fireworks Certificate - Parente Italy

Diploma of Pyrotechnics

In 2000 Harold wrote the Worlds first competency based training standards for the pyrotechnic industry. In 2001 he wrote the Diploma of Pyrotechnics bases on these standards. In April 2002 the Diploma of Pyrotechnics accredited by the ACT Accreditation and Research Council within the Australian Qualification Framework under the auspices of the Australian National Training Authority. The Diploma of Pyrotechnics is the first Competency based training program for pyrotechnicians, and the first accredited qualification in pyrotechnics, in the world.

Safety Management

The Risk Management Practices and Procedures for Pyrotechnic Displays written by Harold Upton are world best practice and form the basis for the Pyrotechnic Guild International Display Operators Certification Program chapter on Risk Management that was also written by Harold Upton

Australian Standards

Harold Upton is a member of the Technical Drafting Committee for the Australian Standards on Explosives- Storage, transport and use, Part 3: Pyrotechnics - Shopgoods Fireworks - Design, performance and testing - AS 2187.3. Harold had considerable input into the technical aspects of this standard.

International Fireworks Conventions

Feb 95 Western Winter Blast, Western Pyrotechnic Association (WPA), Lake Havasu City Arizona, USA
Feb 96 Western Winter Blast, WPA, Lake Havasu City Arizona, USA
Feb 97 Western Winter Blast, WPA, Lake Havasu City Arizona, USA
Feb 98 Western Winter Blast, WPA, Lake Havasu City Arizona, USA
Jun 98 Desert Blast, Nevada USA
Jul 99 Desert Blast, Nevada USA
Aug 99 PGI Convention, Pyrotechnic Guild International (PGI), Fargo North Dakota USA
Aug 00 PGI Convention, Fargo North Dakota USA
Mar 01 Festival of Fire, Gatton Queensland
Dec 01 International Symposium on Fireworks, Orlando Florida USA
Aug 02 PGI Convention, Fargo North Dakota USA
Sep 02 American Pyrotechnic Association Convention, San Diego USA

Licences and Permits Held By Harold Upton or His Businesses


Licence to Import

Licence to Keep

Licence to Manufacture

Licence to Carry

Licence to Sell

General Permit to 300 mm

Approved Shopgoods Fireworks Tester


Licence to Import

Licence to Keep (including Licence to Sell)

Licence to Manufacture

General Permit to 300 mm

Licence to Carry

Licence (Shotfirer's Permit) to use to 150 mm

Licence to Import

Licence to Keep


Licence to Import

Purchasers Permit

Licence to Import

Permit to Use

VIC Licence to Use to 300 mm

Shotfirer's Permit

Authorised Shopgoods Fireworks Assessor

Pyrotechnic Presentations

Jun 98 Seminar and demonstration "Manufacture and Use of Gold Fire Rope - A new Pyrotechnic effect"
May 99

"Pyrotechnics, a Combination of Art, Craft and Science", Australian National Science Festival, Canberra

Jul 99

"Conducting a Safe Fireworks Display", Discovery Channel interview & documentary, Nevada Desert, USA

Mar 01

Seminar "Radio Remote firing of Pyrotechnic Displays", Festival of Fire, Gatton, Queensland

Mar 01 Demonstration "Aerial Effects from Chinese Ground Fireworks" Festival of Fire, Gatton, Queensland
Dec 01 Presentation of Paper "A Competency Based Training Program For Fireworks Operators - A Move To World Best Practice In Occupational Health And Safety, 6th International Symposium On Fireworks, Walt Disney World, Florida
Dec 01

Round Table Discussions "Australasian Spectaculars Risk Management Practices and Procedures for Pyrotechnic Displays" 6th International Symposium On Fireworks, Walt Disney World, Florida

Sep 02 Presentation of Paper "Training Programs For Fireworks Operators - Risk Management and Occupational Health And Safety, PGI Convention, Fargo, North Dakota USA

Fireworks Competitions

Jul 99 Southbank Fireworks Competition, Queensland, KC's Fireworks Displays - First Place
Jul 00

Southbank Fireworks Competition, Queensland, Australasian Spectaculars - Second Place

Sep 00 Macau (China), KC's Fireworks Displays - Fourth Place
Sep 02 Macau (China), Global Pyrotechnics - Fourth Place

Professional Associations and Journals

  • American Pyrotechnic Association (Professional Fireworks Companies)
  • Fireworks Business (USA) (legislation and regulation)
  • Fireworks News (USA) (Professional & technical)
  • National Fireworks Association (Consumer fireworks companies)
  • Pheonix Rising (editor) (Australian Consumer Fireworks Club)
  • Pyrotechnic Guild International (enthusiasts)
  • The Fire Maker (manufacture and technical)
  • Western Pyrotechnic Association (USA) (enthusiasts)