Mr. Robert M. Schwartz was born in New York City in 1920 and completed his undergraduate study in mechanical engineering at the City College of New York in 1941. Following a brief tour of less than six months as a junior engineer at Picatinny Arsenal, he entered the Navy as an ensign after Pearl Harbor and was discharged as a lieutenant commander in 1945.
He resumed his civilian Ordnance career at Picatinny Arsenal in 1946, remaining there until his retirement in 1973. During his career, he became an authority on exterior and interior ballistics, propulsion, explosives, stress analysis, fuzing principles, and strength materials, all of which enabled him to invent and design new ammunition, mainly projectiles. He established the basic design for all 60mm and 81mm mortars and spin and fin stabilized projectiles for recoilless and howitzer weapons. In 1950, he completed development of the first atomic projectile. From 1952 through 1960, he directed the design, development, and stockpiling of all Army nuclear weapons. He has always been concerned about the safety of ammunition and the production process. He chaired the board for modernization efforts at the Army's ammunition; propellant; explosive; metal parts; and load, assembly, and pack plants. He also chaired the board which supervised the munitions fuzing effort at the Harry Diamond Laboratory located at Picatinny Arsenal, Frankford Arsenal, and in private industry. He was responsible for developing the dual safety concept in fuzing which is now the standard.
He has become an authority in resolving premature explosive problems. In his present position as Vice President for Technology, Defense Systems Group of Day and Zimmerman, Mr. Rockwell continues his support of Ordnance programs in industry.