The Colloquium had its origin in the recognition by a group of visionary combustion specialists (Numa Manson, A. K. Oppenheim, and Rem Soloukhin), of the importance of the subject of Gasdynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems to the future of combustion technology and control of global environmental emissions. At the initiative of this group, the First International Colloquia On the Gasdynamics of Explosions And Reactive Systems (referred to by its acronym ICOGERS) was held in 1967 at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium.  Subsequently, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) formed a special Standing Committee, which organized the Second (1969) at Akademgorodok, Novosibirsk in Siberia, USSR; the Third (1971) at the University of Marseille in Marseille, France; the Fourth (1973) at the University of California-San Diego in La Jolla, California; the Fifth (1975) at the University of Orleans in Bourges, France; and the Sixth (1977) at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Prior to the Seventh Colloquium, the IAA disbanded the Standing Committee, and the International Committee on Gasdynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems (ICGERS) assumed responsibility for the organization of the international colloquia.  Under its auspices the Seventh Colloquium (1979) was held at the University of Göttingen; and the Eighth (1981), at the Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer in Minsk, USSR.  At Minsk, the Committee opted for a more embracing and descriptive title both for the Colloquia, and also for the Committee, by the deletion of the modifier Gas from the respective titles.

The Committee, after Minsk, was known as the International Committee on the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems (ICDERS).  As the serial order of the colloquia was not modified, the Ninth International Colloquium on the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems (1983) was held at ENSMA, University of Poitiers; the Tenth (1985), at the University of California-Berkeley; the Eleventh (1987), at the Technical University of Warsaw; and the Twelfth (1989), at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Prior to the Twelfth Colloquium, the Committee was reorganized as a not-for-profit corporation entitled ‘the Institute on the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems,”  (IDERS).  The Institute is incorporated in the state of Washington and its Board of Directors has assumed the functions of the Committee.  Under the auspices of IDERS, the Thirteenth ICDERS (1991) was held at the University of Nagoya; the Fourteenth (1993), University of Coimbra, Portugal; the Fifteenth (1995), University of Colorado, Boulder; the Sixteenth (1997), University of Mining & Metallurgy, Cracow, Poland; the Seventeenth (1999), the Universität Heidelberg; the Eighteenth (2001), the University of Washington; and the Ninteenth (2003), Hakone, Japan; the Twentieth (2005), Montreal, Canada; the Twenty-First (2007), Poitiers, France; the Twenty-Second (2009), Minsk, Belarus; the Twenty-Third (2011), Irvine, CA, USA.

The Board of Directors of the Combustion Institute has recognized the Tenth and subsequent Colloquia as a Specialists Meeting on the Fluid-Dynamic Aspects of Combustion.  For all colloquia to date, the practice has been that the host institution develops the funds to offset expenses of the colloquia.

The Proceedings of ICDERS were, initially and until the Fourteenth Colloquium, a selection of peer reviewed and revised papers that were presented at a colloquium.  From 1967 – 1993, most of the papers presented at a colloquium appeared in its proceedings.    The Proceedings of the first three colloquia were published as special issues of ASTRONAUTICA ACTA, the archival journal of the International Academy of Astronautics, while papers presented at the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth were published individually in issues of ACTA ASTRONAUTICA.  Financial support for the publication of these Proceedings was obtained from:  the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, the French Ministry of Education, the French Ministry of the Army, the Office of Naval Research through the SQUID Project, the U.S. Army Material Command through the Picatinny Arsenal, U.S. Army Research and Development Command, and the Department of Energy.

The Proceedings of the Seventh Colloquium were published as Volumes 75 and 76 of the AIAA Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics with support from the National Science Foundation. The Proceedings of the Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Colloquia were published as:  Volumes 87 and 88, Volumes 94 and 95, Volumes 105 and 106, Volumes 113 and 114, and Volume 133 and 134, and Volumes 152, 153, and 154, respectively, of the AIAA Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics Series.  Support for the publication of the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth was provided by the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office.  Support for the Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth was provided by the National Science Foundation and Defense Nuclear Agency. 

Prior to the Fourteenth Colloquium, the Editorial Board of the AIAA Progress Series discontinued the publication of  “proceedings” volumes.  As a consequence, the IDERS Board decided that henceforth, the booklet of extended abstracts of papers accepted for presentation at the Fourteenth, and subsequent colloquia, would be identified as the Proceedings.  Further, authors of papers presented at a colloquium  were invited to submit their contributions for publication, after review and revision, in either Combustion Science and Technology (papers concerned with dynamics of reactive systems) or Shock Waves (papers dealing with explosions and detonations).  To facilitate the publication of these papers, the editors of the two journals agreed to allow two special editors (appointed by the IDERS Board)  to arrange for reviews and coordinate editorial activities with the journal editors of the two journals.  At the 18th ICDERS, the journal editors of Combustion Theory and Modeling offered to publish papers based on contributions presented at the 18th ICDERS and subsequent colloquia.