Lawrence F. Marcous, 57, an associate technical director of the David W. Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center, died Monday at North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie after a stroke.

He had been head of the propulsion and auxiliary systems department of the Center's Annapolis laboratory since 1976.

From 1959 to 1962, Mr. Marcous was with the U.S. Navy's Engineering Experiment Station at Annapolic. He then spent two years in private industry and returned to the Experiment Station in 1964. He remained there when the station became the laboratory of the Ship Research and Development Center.

Mr. Marcous was born in Farmington, Maine. He served in the South Pacific with the Army in World War II.After the war, he entered the University of New Hampshire, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.

Considered an authority on design engineering, fluid dynamics, oceanography and reactor technology, Mr. Marcous was the author of many technical papers. He also held a number of awards, including the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce Eveline Marcous, of the home in Severna Park: two sons, Robert L., of Severna Park, and John D., of Reston; his mother, Rose D. Fortier, of Portsmouth, N.H., and two sisters, Jeanette L. Quimby, of Dover, N.H., and Anita L. Corbin, of Fresno, Calif.