Donald Sticinski has been named vice president of Hercules Aerospace Co.'s Titan IV Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade Projects.

He was formerly vice president of the Expendable Launch Vehicle Projects, which includes the Pegasus and Delta II programs.Sticinski's job change was one of three announced by Hercules. Spokesman Dave Nicponski said the job changes were "just part of the ongoing organizational changes."

Hercules laid off 475 workers last week, part of a seven-month "right-sizing" operation that has eliminated 1,200 jobs. About 300 of the 1,200 workers who lost their jobs were terminated because of the temporary curtailment of the Titan IV SRMU program. The program was suspended when the prototype motor exploded on the test stand at Edward Air Force Base, Calif.

Nick Vlahakis will replace Sticinski as vice president of ELV projects. He was formerly program manager for Delta II programs.

Roger Blodgett, vice president, was named to head the company's Titan IV SRMU Static Test Recovery Program.

In his new position, Sticinski will head all aspects of the Titan IV Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade program. This includes design, manufacturing and operational concepts of the launch system.

The recovery program, resulting from the the April 1 Titan test motor failure in California, focuses on motor design modifications, test stand design and fabrication studies.

"The Titan IV SRMU effort is one of Hercules' most challenging corporate programs because of its intensity and complexity," said Ronald G. Peterson, vice president and general manager or Hercules aerospace division in a prepared release.

"This program is the first heavy-lift new solid rocket system in 25 years and is essential for national security payloads."

The system is intended to provide the U.S. Air Force 25 percent more lift capability to place larger and heavier satellites into geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above Earth.