John Thirkill, head of Morton Thiokol's Space Division, has been named Engineer of the Year by the Utah section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Thirkill, vice president and general manager of the company's space operations, is responsible for directing development, testing and production of solid rocket motors in Utah and at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Prior to taking over space operations, Thirkill was vice president and general manager of the aerospace firm's Huntsville, Ala., Division and was engineering vice president in the Utah Division.