Michael A. Tockstein, owner/operator of Pyrotechnic Innovations
Licensed Pyrotechnician Since: 2001
- M.S. Degree in Electrical Engineering from USC
- B.S. Degree in Electrical Engineering w/ Minor in Applied Mathematics from CSULB
- 12+ Years Experience as an Electrical Engineer in the Aerospace Industry
- Published in numerous peer reviewed scientific journals and holder of a U.S. patent
- Worked ~200 fireworks displays
- Also holds a CA Pyrotechnic Operator Rockets 3rd Class license
- Earned 3 Distinguished Service Awards, 6 Notice of Commendations, 1 Special Commendation, and 1 Heroic Act Award, during 15 years employment as a part-time ocean lifeguard.
After having worked for fireworks display company Pyro Spectaculars for a couple years, Mike started the Pyrotechnic Innovations website originally to post pictures and videos of his fireworks displays and help recruit new people for his fireworks crew.
Over the years, the website gained in popularity and started to generate so many new people, that he was constantly having to provide training at every one of his shows. After shooting many training videos and spending hours in front of the computer, in 2007, Mike published the Fireworks Training section of the website. He then started requiring all new people to read through all the training pages before working their first show, which ended up cutting down the training time in the field by a factor of ten. The fireworks training pages were a huge success in helping to streamline training so many people. In addition, many other pyrotechnic operators started using the fireworks training pages to add to their knowledge bank, and train their crew.
In 2013, Pyrotechnic Innovations officially partnered with Pyro Spectaculars to provide the extensive personnel resources of the site in addition to a formalized training program.
Throughout his fireworks career, Mike has done many newspaper, magazine, and online interviews on his career in pyrotechnics. He has also done pyrotechnic related work for television, such as for Discovery Channel's show "Mythbusters," on multiple occasions. On two occasions, he produced and provided fireworks videos for our overseas troops to watch on the 4th of July.
Check out Mike's upcoming fireworks displays.