Industry Icon Lester Rosenblatt Leaves an Indelible Mark

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

On June 15, 2003, Lester Rosenblatt passed away at the age of 83. MR/EN remembers this industry icon, who through his ambition and wealth of industry knowledge founded what would become one of the world's most successful naval architecture and marine engineering firms.

Lester Rosenblatt, (along with his father, Mandell) founded M. Rosenblatt & Son, Inc. in 1947, where he served as Chairman, CEO and Naval Architect. Through his unending drive, the company grew to be one of the world's largest private engineering firms specializing in naval architecture and marine engineering. Providing management and leadership to his company in the design and development of all types of naval and commercial ships, Rosenblatt's expertise extended from aircraft carriers and submarines to tankers, tugs and high performance craft. Many of the world's most innovative designs, which included the Spruance Class Destroyers, L.Y. Spear Class Submarine Tenders, Shimrit Class Hydrofoils, T-AO187 Class Fleet Oilers, and T-AGS 39 Class Oceanographic Survey Ships, can be attributed to the company he founded.

Through its nationwide network of offices M. Rosenblatt & Son, Inc. completed successfully more than 27,000 assignments on such tasks as management and technical aspects of ship design, complete ship designs, including engineering analyses, conceptual, preliminary, contract and detail designs, and installation and support services.

Before founding the company that bears his name, Mr. Rosenblatt earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan and the City College of New York (CCNY), as well as an honorary doctorate degree from the Webb Institute in Glen Cove, L.I.

Mr. Rosenblatt was not only an innovator in his industry, but a leader as well, serving for two years as President of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) — a position that is currently held by his son, Bruce. He was a Fellow and Honorary Member of SNAME, a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE); an Honorary Trustee of Webb Institute, a member of the American Bureau of Shipping and Bureau Veritas, and an Honorary Member of The Marine Society of the City of New York. He was also an active participant on the National Academy of Sciences' Maritime Research Board's Committee on Innovation in the Maritime Industry.

Known for his active support of the maritime industry's professional societies, Mr. Rosenblatt will also be remembered for his lively discussions and comments on technical presentations at section meetings, symposiums, and other colloquia. He was an ardent and strong advocate of the generation and dissemination of state-of-the-art technical information, as evidenced by his support of hundreds of employee written papers on the subject of naval architecture and marine engineering.

Through his personal efforts, M. Rosenblatt & Son, Inc. became a significant part of the U.S. naval and merchant ship design capability. With the firm belief that a strong navy, coast guard and merchant marine are vital to the well being of this nation, Lester Rosenblatt dedicated his more than 59-year career to excellence, integrity, technical proficiency, and innovation in ship design.

Mr. Rosenblatt's many accomplishments in ship design and marine engineering never went unnoticed. He was honored in 1967 by his alma mater, receiving the University of Michigan's Sesquicentennial Award. In 1984 he was awarded SNAME's Vice Admiral "Jerry" Land Medal for outstanding accomplishment in the marine field, and in 1987 he was the recipient of ASNE's Harold E. Saunders Award for outstanding accomplishments in the field of naval engineering.

Mr. Rosenblatt capped off his career in 1995 when he was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame and presented with the coveted Ship's Lookout Award for his dedication and leadership in the advancement of the marine industry. Five years later, on April 7, 2000, M. Rosenblatt & Son, Inc., was acquired by the Virginia Beach, Va.-based firm of AMSEC LLC - while still maintaining the traditions and expertise on which the company was modeled. The son of Mandell and Rosa, Lester Rosenblatt is survived by wife Helen; daughters, Arlene, Roberta and Laurel; son Bruce — children of the late Lucille and Audrey; and grandchildren, Adam, Eric, Evan, Shanna, Dylan, Adar, Noah, Melissa, and Daniel.

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