George W. Sturm, 70, a naval architect who retired from the Naval Ship Engineering Center in 1976, died Sunday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring following a heart attack.

Mr. Sturm was born in Hoboken, N.J. He graduated from the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in Glen Cove, Long Island, N.Y., and then earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from New York University in 1933.

He was a naval architect in the New York City area until 1940, when he moved to Washington and joined the U.S. Maritime Commission, where he was chief ship appraiser. In 1945, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to survey, with other countries, the German merchant fleet at the end of World War II.

In 1952, Mr. Sturm resigned from the Maritime Commission and started his own firm, George W. Sturm and Associates, consultants on naval architecture, marine engineering and ship appraisals.

In 1968, Mr. Sturm, who lived in Silver Spring, went to work for the Navy Department and remained there until his retirement in 1976.

He was a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Enginners, the American Society of Naval Engineers, the D.C. Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Metals and the Associations of Scientists and Engineers of Sea Systems Command.

Survivors include his wife, Mabel, of Silver Spring, a daughter, Stacy L. Finck of Staten Island, N.Y., and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the St. Luke Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, Silver Spring, 20910.