In 1953, while employed by a small Florida shipyard, Raymond Pearlson, a Naval Architect and Marine Engineer, was given responsibility for the construction of a traditional 300-ton lifting capacity boat lift and transfer system. His experience building this facility gave Mr. Pearlson the opportunity to develop an innovative drydocking concept using simple electro-mechanical components. In 1957, Mr. Pearlson built the first Syncrolift® shiplift for a nearby shipyard and in 1958, formed his own company, Pearlson Engineering Company, Inc. (PECO), to further the development of his invention. For the next 20 years Raymond Pearlson traveled the world to introduce the Syncrolift® shiplift and transfer system to the marine industry. In 1979, he sold his company to Northern Engineering Industries (NEI), a British engineering group that in 1989 became part of Rolls-Royce, plc.
Among the awards received by Mr. Pearlson is the prestigious 2002 Elmer A. Sperry Award; "In recognition of a distinguished engineering contribution which, through application proved in actual service, has advanced the art of transportation whether by land, sea or air." (Read More)
Douglas began working at Pearlson Engineering Company (PECO) in 1967 while attending the University of Michigan. After graduating with a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Douglas joined the firm full time in 1971. He progressed through various positions in engineering, sales, marketing, administration and management. In 1973 he established PECO's European office in London. After returning to Miami in 1975 he was promoted to Executive Vice-President and became General Manager in 1978.
In 1979, following PECO's acquisition by Northern Engineering Industries, he was promoted to President of Pearlson Engineering Company and named to the Board of Directors of NEI Clarke Chapman Ltd. During his tenure as President of PECO, Douglas was responsible for the design, installation and ongoing servicing of shiplifts, caisson lifts, ferry ramps and transfer systems in over 60 countries, including two 25,000-ton shiplifts and transfer systems for nuclear submarines in England and Scotland.
In 1990, after leaving NEI, Douglas co-founded Pearlson & Pearlson Incorporated, a shipyard consultancy specializing in drydocking and transfer systems. In 2008, when Rolls-Royce closed the Miami headquarters of Syncrolift Inc., Douglas founded Pearlson Shiplift Corporation and recruited his team of former PECO shiplift engineers and technical support specialists to respond to requests from Syncrolift® owners and operators to expand and support their shipyard and ferry ramp facilities with new shiplift equipment, spare parts, training and inspection services.
Douglas Pearlson is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the University of Michigan's NA&ME Advisory Board and a former member of the Sea Foundation of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine Sciences. He serves on the Dry Dock Standards Committee of the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers.