ONR Distinguished Lecture Series

ONR Distinguished Lecture Series:
"Partnerships and the New Management Approach"
How Multiple Players Working Together Produced a Multi-Million-Dollar, Record Shattering Product in 25 Months

Presented by:
Donald L. Blount
Director of Workforce Development, Lavle, USA, Inc.

Destriero departing New York in August 1992 for record attempt.In August 1992, Destriero departed New York—and 58 hours 34 minutes later, without refueling, arrived in the South of England averaging 53.1 knots. Also, during the final 24 hours of this Atlantic Ocean crossing record, Destriero traveled 1,402 nm in significant waves of 5.5 ft (high Sea State 3) at the average speed of 58.4 knots.

While the many technological developments resulting from this program have been presented, the approach of program management remains undocumented. From a question about feasibility, to delivery, the process took only 25 months. The question in spring of 1989 was: “Is it feasible to design and construct a vessel to operate in Sea State 4 having no excessive accelerations nor noise levels in manned spaces which can average 50 knots for 3,000 nm without refueling?” In May 1989 the answer was YES.

Having no baseline design with which to begin necessitated wide variety of actions. The goal was possibly much too varied and complex for a single person, even one with decisive technical management skills. With investor, legal and technical considerations two overriding decisions were made and followed throughout the execution of the program: 1) strict commitment to maintaining a master schedule would control ultimate total program cost, and 2) that a single program manager could increase risk of program success. Thus, a five-member Management Ring, each with absolute authority on their area of responsibility, was chosen to lead the program from beginning to a successful Atlantic crossing record.

This presentation will focus on the way Five Authorities working together produced a multi-million-dollar complex product in 25 months.

Event Details

This event is now closed. Watch a video of Donald Blount's lecture.

When: Tuesday, August 13, 2019 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Office of Naval Research
Bobby Junker Executive Conference Center
14th Floor, One Liberty Center
875 North Randolph Street
Arlington, VA 22203

Only DoD civilians and/or military personnel displaying a valid CAC or ID card above the waist will be granted unescorted access to the building. All non-government, non-ONR contractors and other U.S. visitors need to arrange an escort into the building. Learn more about visiting ONR.

For building access questions or any questions regarding this event, please email Irina Pala.

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About Donald L. Blount

Donald L. BlountIn January 2019 Donald Blount joined Lavle USA, Inc. which develops technologies related to electrification of propulsion systems for performance marine vessels. His position at Lavle USA, Inc. is Director of Workforce Development.

Previously, Donald had founded Donald L. Blount and Associates, Inc. (DLBA), a naval architecture and marine engineering design firm in 1988 which was sold after 27 years and continues in operation. DLBA has been noted internationally for design and engineering of high-performance, military, commercial and recreational vessels. Noteworthy high-performance, gas turbine powered vessels exceeding 60 knots designed under Donald’s leadership include M/Y Destriero (222 ft, 1,000 mt) which established in 1992 the current, non-refueled Atlantic Ocean crossing record (58 hr 34 min) averaging 53.1 knots, M/Y Fortuna (135 ft) the former Royal Yacht of Spain and the six gas turbine powered M/Y Alamshar (164 ft).

In earlier times Donald was a civilian employee of the Dept. of Navy for 35 years. In those years he conducted research and engineering programs at David Taylor Model Basin relating to technology in the field of hydrodynamics. The latter years were with the Navy’s Combatant Craft Department with the last nine as the Department Head.

In 2014 Donald published a book, “Performance by Design: Hydrodynamics for High-Speed Vessels” and has authored more than 50 papers and articles for international technical societies. He is a professional engineer and is a Fellow of both The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and The Royal Institution of Naval Architects. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from George Washington University in 1963.

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