Retired Navy Capt. Scott E. Terrill Jr., 56, director of Wheeler Industries' systems research center, died of cancer Tuesday at Fairfax Hospital.

He joined Wheeler Industries Inc., which provides engineering and systems analysis support to the Navy, in 1976. He became director of the research center in 1973.

He was a native of Burlington, Vt. Capt. Terrill was a 1944 graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis and served in the Pacific during World War II. He later earned a master's degree in applied physics at the University of California at Los Angeles.

He was a graduate of the Armed forces Staff College and served in a number of ordinance and staff posts before retiring from the Navy in 1976.

Capt. Terrill was an elder of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean.

He was also a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia P., of the home in McLean; three daughters, Sally Mason, of Denver, Nancy, of Macon, Ga., and Kathryn, of Austin, Tex.; his mother, Mrs. Scott-Terrill, of Burlington, and a sister, Bettina Merriam, of Rutland, Vt.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions in his name to immanuel Presbyterian Church.