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NEWS | March 14, 2024

Dr. Lawrence J. Rosenblum Elected IEEE Fellow

By Mary Hamisevicz, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Corporate Communications

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) researcher, Lawrence Rosenblum, Ph.D., was elevated to the prestigious grade of Fellow of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in the class of 2024 for leadership in developing mobile augmented reality, visualization and visual analytics of complex data. Fellow is IEEE’s highest member grade and is awarded through a rigorous review process only to candidates with extraordinary accomplishments.
Rosenblum joined NRL’s Acoustics Division in 1977 as a mathematician/computer scientist, beginning his 31-year career at the Laboratory. For more than a decade his work with various Acoustic Division branches included designing real-time data collection systems and implementing novel methodologies for obtaining scientific knowledge from the collected data.
His achievements include using computer graphics methodology to demonstrate a long-standing conjecture about ocean finestructure in ocean frontal regions and developing the first system capable of producing detailed near-field images in turbid water.
In 1992, Rosenblum left NRL to work at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) European Office (ONREUR) in London, U.K., with responsibility for interacting with European leaders in his areas of expertise. His electronically distributed “Realization Reports” analyzing European activities were widely read and were reprinted in IEEE and Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) publications. The strong positive response from the U.S. R&D community resulted in ONREUR switching from printed reports with limited distribution to widespread electronic distribution for almost all reporting. Rosenblum was the primary organizer of the National Academy of Sciences’ 1993 International Lecture Series, visiting Russia and the former Soviet Union. He organized a Workshop of international experts who subsequently produced the book “Scientific Visualization: Advances and Challenges,” leading to ONR funding for Scientific Visualization.
“My ONREUR activities set the stage for my new NRL role, which included a part-time detail to ONR, leading to NRL and ONR activities being closely integrated for the next decade,” said Rosenblum. “I believe this combination is reflected in the accomplishments that resulted in the Fellow ranking.”
Returning to NRL in 1994, Rosenblum established and directed the Virtual Reality (VR) Lab in the Information Technology Division. The VR Lab was a recognized leader in the field, producing software and hardware innovations that included designing the first U.S. version of the VR Responsive Workbench. The Workbench was successfully demonstrated in the command center at a U.S. Marine Corps warfighting experiment. The VR Lab’s most significant achievement was (working with S. Feiner, Columbia University) the creation of the Battlefield Augmented Reality System (BARS) which demonstrated the passage of information between a command center and personnel in the field without distractions. Equipped with a heads-up display, computer, and various sensors and devices, field personnel could view and interact with data and information in real time while maintaining full visibility of the operating environment.
With BARS successfully demonstrated, Andre van Tilborg, Ph.D., at ONR had Rosenblum develop what is believed to be the largest R&D program as of that date to advance the S&T needed for further advances. Twenty-five years later, the concept has been validated with the recent U.S. Army’s $21.9 billion contract award with Microsoft. Rosenblum’s research at NRL, and the ONR program he developed and managed, played a leading role in popularizing mobile AR technologies.

Rosenblum attributes much of his success to having colleagues at NRL who are top-notch scientists and engineers. He gives special mention to his project leaders at the Virtual Reality Lab for their dedication and technical excellence.
“Another strength of NRL as an employer was that I worked on significantly different problems across various science and engineering disciplines. The problems were difficult and challenging,” said Rosenblum. “There was a real sense of accomplishment when others turned our research into systems that proved valuable, sometimes after many years of development elsewhere.”
Lawrence (Larry) J. Rosenblum is a retired U.S. federal government employee who post-retirement has been a Visiting Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, College Park, Maryland. He received his doctorate in mathematics from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, in 1971. He was the recipient of the IEEE Visualization Career Award, the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Community (VGTC) Virtual Reality Career Award, a Department of Homeland Security  (DHS)/National Visualization and Analytics Center Award for leadership in the field of visual analytics and an IEEE-CS Outstanding Service Award for founding the IEEE Visualization Conference.
Rosenblum was an initial inductee into the IEEE Visualization Academy in 2019 and the IEEE VR Academy in 2022. He has served as Chairman of the IEEE-VGTC and on the Editorial Boards of IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications (CG&A), IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, and several other journals as well as honorary chair, conference chair, program chair, keynote speaker and panelist, etc. for numerous conferences.

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL is located in Washington, D.C. with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs approximately 3,000 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.

For more information, contact NRL Corporate Communications at (202) 480-3746 or

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