DinERP's digital rocket man

Oct 9 2017

DinERP Test Manager rockets to the top spot in Berlin!


DinERP employee Roy Tronstad has won the Pyronale 2017 in Berlin  - also known as the unofficial World Fireworks Championships, as a member of the North Star Fireworks team.

When he’s not doing fireworks competitions or displays, Tronstad works as Test Manager at DinERP in Trondheim.

The overall champion of the Pyronale 2017 and therefore the golden Pyronale Trophy went to the newcomers of the competition: the Norwegian Team “North Star Fireworks AS” ahead of the Italian “Martarello Group” and “Pandora Pyrotechnie” from France. 

Tronstad really enjoyed competing, and says winning seemed unreal. The crowd was huge and the Pyronale is one of the world's biggest fireworks competitions. It is not an official world championship, but if you win, you are considered one of the best companies of the world.

Roy in Berlin, getting ready for the show. Photo: Private. All rights reserved.

North Star Fireworks also offers indoors fireworks. This is of course quite different from outdoor fireworks. Tronstad explains the indoors fireworks are made with chemicals that burns cooler and shorter, so it’s not a fire hazard like the ones outdoors. “You should be able to touch the indoor fireworks without burning your hand.”

He states that he prefers working outdoors, because the risk is lower and the possibilities are endless.


One shot to do it right

When asked whether his job in DinERP and his fireworks hobby have anything in common, he immediately points out that precision is the key to success in both cases. -We had thousands of effects and fuse-chords to put together in Berlin, Roy says. If you don’t do it right, there will simply be no fireworks in the sky. You only have one shot to do it right, and there is no dress-rehearsal.

There is a lot of IT in the world of fireworks

As a test manager at DinERP the precision and methodology he uses at works comes in handy when planning fireworks displays. A test manager ensures the software works as it’s supposed to before giving it to the customer. You need to be logical, precise and have a clear head, Roy says. The same is true according to choreographing fireworks displays: There is a lot of IT in the world of fireworks, and carefully double and triple checking all the elements and designs before starting the show is a critical factor, so there are definitely parallels there”
-Great Team Work is a key as well, we must work together to accomplish excellent results, and that is the same in DinERP.

Precision at its best

The fireworks are set off by a remote control, running a script from the design software. It’s like a tiny computer that sends out signals to modules, which are spread out over an area. -There are a lot of cables to manage, between 18 to 100 cables per box, Tronstad explains. It is easy to see   he is passionate about the subject.

Tronstad believes his team won because Andreas Helle created an amazing design, and during the setup they fulfilled North Star Firework’s slogan, which is (translated from Norwegian) “Enthusiasm, precision and passion”.

Interested in fireworks since childhood

To become a professional, you must be taught by someone. Roy's mentor is founder and Manager Andreas Helle of North Star Fireworks AS. Andreas is a Chemistry Civil Engineer and he has been a pyrotechnic professional for 20 years and counting. - Andreas is a brilliant designer and pyro technician, and I have been lucky to learn from the best, Roy states.


Tronstad has always been interested in fireworks, and when he was studying Informatics at NTNU, Trondheim, he went to see the cross-country skiing medal ceremony of the 1997 World Championship in Trondheim. The fireworks were so mesmerizing he decided to learn how to do it. His studies were relevant to fireworks, because to be good at fireworks, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of computer technology and software.


Software to design fireworks

-There is more technology behind fireworks than most people might believe, Tronstad says. He states that back in the days you just lit the fuse and ran, but now, technology brings so much more options into the game. This naturally makes it more complicated, and everything needs to be coordinated and planned to the last detail.

Planning the display. Photo: Private. All rights reserved.

The system works the same way as Wi-Fi does. The firing commands are executed on a dedicated encrypted wireless network. The signals are sent to different boxes with different effects and timing. The show is designed and planned in a software program before bringing it to life. We get a simulation of the real thing in the program, but it’s quite different when you see it in real life compared to how it is on the screen, Tronstad says.


Meet the team:  Back row from the left: Peder Helle, Daniell de Sousa, Miriam Wikanes Hurlen & Kim Erik de Sousa. Front row from left: Roy Tronstad, Andreas Helle, Kenneth Hurlen, Lars Nøkleby, Arne Keller & Simon Svensson
Photo: Private. All rights reserved.

Customer service

Roy Tronstad’s own company, T-Pyro AS, has 5 out of 5 stars on Facebook reviews. "I believe the reasons the customers are happy with us, are because we listen to the customers and deliver what we promise. We customize fireworks according to their wishes, and we work with both small and large customers; much the same as we do at DinERP." This attention to customer service is another parallel between his hobby and his day-job, with DinERP winning the IFS Customer Choice Award last year.


Tronstad wants to continue his winning-ways and build upon this success with many more competitions and shows and he is honored to have been a member of North Star Fireworks winning team at Pyronale this year.