About Us

The Electric Rocket Propulsion Society was established on June 27, 1994 when our founder, Dr. Peter Turchi, filed the articles of incorporation for a nonprofit organization in the State of Ohio.   On July 7th he made the required $55 deposit to create the organization.  The ERPS was created in response to the organizational challenges encountered during the highly successful 1993 IEPC hosted by the then Rocket Research Company (now Aerojet Rocketdyne – Redmond) in Seattle, Washington.  Bill Smith, leader of the RRC EP team at that time, was the General Chair of that Conference, which was very successful and even had a small financial surplus.  As Bill said “The meeting in 1993 was kind of like our Declaration of Independence.  Joe Cassady and I sweated bullets pulling off a $7000 profit without AIAA support.  We do much better now.  In a way, EP was a rebellion back then because there were so many nay-sayers.   Both potential users and technologists.”


After that 1993 conference a small group of EP supporters realized that the EP community could really benefit from having an independent organization to support for the IEPC conferences, and Peter Turchi took the lead in this effort.  The original group in 1994 included Peter Turchi, Roger Myers, Bill Smith, Frank Curran, and Joe Cassady.  Peter became the first President and Roger Myers served as Vice President with the others serving as the original Board of Directors, which was then quickly expanded to include many of our international partners.  Peter’s leadership through the formation and first 13 years of the ERPS, as well as his continued guidance to the organization as a board member, have been crucial to our success.  Peter continued to serve as President until 2007, when Dr. Edgar Choueiri took over as President.  Edgar led the organization thru four successful conferences until 2013.  During his tenure Edgar created the Stuhlinger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Electric Propulsion, now recognized as the highest achievement within our EP community.  Dr. Roger Myers took over as President in 2013, focusing on ensuring the ERPS was financially stable, with documented organizational processes and procedures which would assure its long-term success and working with Dr. Dan Herman, ERPS Treasurer to ensure continued recognition as a nonprofit corporation in the state of Ohio.  During his tenure he also established the position of ERPS Awards Chair (in 2016) to coordinate the effort of selecting the winners for ERPS awards (other than the Stuhlinger, which is handled differently), as well as implemented the new ERPS Kuriki Award for Young Professionals with financial support from our Japanese colleagues, the Best Poster Award (in 2019), and the David C. Byers Memorial Lecture (in 2019).  Dr. Frank Curran was the first ERPS Awards Chair and Frank dramatically improved the ERPS awards process, leading to improved recognition of outstanding achievement in our field.