Professor Uriel George Rothblum, known to all as Uri, was born in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 16, 1947. His parents had both immigrated to Israel from Vienna before Austria fell under the Nazi regime. His grandfather, Dr. David Rothblum, was a lawyer, a prominent Zionist and a close friend of Chaim Nachman Bialik, the national poet of modern Israel.
Uri grew up in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan in Israel. He distinguished himself in the study of the sciences from a young age. Chemistry, in particular, was a favorite early passion. After completing compulsory military service in the IDF, he earned a B.Sc. (Suma Cum Laude) in Applied Mathematics from Tel Aviv University in 1969 and, from the same institution, an M.Sc. (Suma Cum Laude) in Mathematics. His PhD was completed in the Department of Operations Research at Stanford University in 1974 with Arthur F. Veinott serving as his advisor. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University, he became a faculty member of Yale University (1975-1984).
In 1984 Uri joined the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion, where he remained until his untimely death. At the faculty and at the Technion, Uri filled several positions. He served as vice-dean of the faculty during the mid-1980s, and as its dean (1992-1995). He also served as Deputy Provost of the Technion (1998-2000) and as Vice President for Academic Affairs of the Technion (2000-2002).
In addition to his work at the Technion, Uri held visiting positions at Stanford University, Columbia University, Rutgers University, The State University of New York at Stony Brook, Bell Laboratories and the RAND Corporation. Also, Uri served as the president of ORSIS (the Operations Research Society of Israel) in 2006-2008 and he was on the editorial board of several academic journals. Uri was elected as an INFORMS Fellow in 2003 (in the first elected cohort).
However, first and foremost Uri was a family man. He was devoted to his wife Naomi, their three children and the extended family. He was a kind, generous and unique man. His interests included travelling, which he did extensively and enthusiastically, and the arts, especially the theater and ballet. Those who knew him remember his grace, his nobility of spirit, his boundless energy, and his capacity for living every moment to its fullest.
Uri Rothblum passed away on March 26th, 2012, following a cardiac arrest. His untimely death was a tragic loss to his family, his students, colleagues, and many friends.