GM Retiree Dave Reed named as Lifetime Achievement winner.

Press Release Summary:

Automotive Division of SPE® has named David B. Reed P.E. as eleventh recipient of Lifetime Achievement award, which recognizes technical achievements of automotive executives whose work has led to significant integration of polymeric materials on vehicles. Reed was selected for his leading role on many of GM's composite-bodied vehicles as well as numerous plastics innovations. He will be honored at 41st annual SPE Automotive Innovations Awards Gala on November 9 in Livonia, MI.

Original Press Release:

GM Retiree, Dave Reed Named Spe® Automotive Lifetime Achievement Winner for Auto Plastics Contributions

TROY, (DETROIT) MICH. - David (Dave) B. Reed P.E., who worked for then General Motors Corp. (GM) for 45 years in Product Engineering and helped develop many innovative automotive-plastics applications, has been named the eleventh recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award from the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®). Reed will be honored at the 41st-annual SPE Automotive Innovations Awards Gala on November 9 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

The Lifetime Achievement award recognizes the technical achievements of automotive executives whose work - in research, design, and engineering, etc. - has led to significant integration of polymeric materials on vehicles. First given in the year 2000, past winners include:
  • J.T. Battenberg III, former chairman and chief-executive officer of Delphi Corp.;
  • Bernard Robertson, then executive vice-president of DaimlerChrysler;
  • Robert Schaad, chairman of Husky Injection Molding Systems, Ltd.;
  • Tom Moore, retired vice-president, Liberty and Technical Affairs at then DaimlerChrysler;
  • Mr. Shigeki Suzuki, general manager - Materials Division, Toyota Motor Co.;
  • Barbara A. Sanders, retired director - Advanced Development & Engineering Processes at Delphi Thermal Systems;
  • Josh Madden, retired executive from General Motors Corp. & Volkswagen of America;
  • Frank Macher, former CEO of Collins & Aikman Corp., Federal Mogul Corp., and ITT Automotive, and who also spent 30 years at Ford Motor Co.;
  • Irv Poston, retired head of Plastics (Composites) Development-Technical Center, General Motors Corp.;
  • And Allan Murray, Ph.D., retired technology director at Ford Motor Co.

    Dave Reed was selected as this year's Lifetime Achievement award winner for his leading role on many of GM's composite-bodied vehicles as well as numerous plastics innovations. He began his career at GM in 1963 while a co-op student at then General Motors Institute (GMI, renamed Kettering University) and joined the Chevrolet Materials Group in 1967. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering / Materials Science and completed his thesis on Development of Nylon Fuel Lines, in which he developed and recommended use of a more durable grade of nylon Type 11 fuel lines, which eventually led to industry-wide use of the material in this application. In 1969, he was promoted to senior engineer with responsibility for all Chevrolet plastics, elastomers, gaskets, and adhesives. During this time he introduced ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) rubber for heater and radiator hoses on all Chevrolet vehicles, which doubled hose life. Reed also led the development of painted thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) bumper-filler panels, painted polyurethane (PUR) reaction-injection-molded (RIM) bumper fascias, as well as polycarbonate (PC) lenses for all Chevrolet and GMC truck rear tail lamps. In 1977 he was promoted to staff engineer at Pontiac Engineering where he was responsible for all Pontiac plastics and elastomers. Reed helped develop the composite body constructions for GM's Pontiac Fiero and Firebird and Chevrolet Camaro sports cars, as well as the Saturn coupe and sedan, and the EV1 electric vehicle. In fact, five of the programs he worked on were named Grand Award winners in SPE's annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition, including 1974's win for the front and rear bumper covers (fascias) on the Chevrolet Monza subcompact - an application that in 1993 also received' SPE's Hall of Fame award; 1983's win for exterior body panels on the Pontiac Fiero sports car; a second Fiero sports car win in 1986 for rear quarter windows; the 1990 award for exterior door panels on Saturn sedans; and 1996's award for the structural battery tray on GM's iconic EV1 electric vehicle.

    Before retiring from GM in 2008, Reed led the development of enhanced interior materials introduced on the Cadillac SRX, STS, and CTS luxury vehicles. Not only were these vehicles highly acclaimed for the luxury, functionality, and good looks of their interiors, but they led to a new generation of interior technology integration for aesthetics, comfort, and safety at GM. He also proposed GM's partnership role in starting an industry-wide plastics recycling program with government assistance, which eventually became the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR) Vehicle Recycling Partnership. He also led GM's recycling team to share and optimize use of in-house plastics molding scrap across all GM's molding operations, saving the automaker millions of dollars annually.

    Reed has a long history of service to engineering societies. He is a recipient of SAE International's Forest R. McFarland Award for work on innovative technical sessions on such topics as Advances in Automotive Composite Body Panels, New Composite Cars, New Developments in Asian Plastics Applications, and Automotive Plastics Recycling. He also organized and led a technical session on Challenges in SMC Finishing at SPE's own inaugural Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (ACCE), and has been a long-time director on the board of the SPE Automotive Division.

    Dave Reed holds a patent in nanocomposites and two defensive publications. Since retiring, he has continued his dedication to plastics innovations as a consultant.
    On November 9, Reed will be honored for his significant automotive plastics contributions at this year's SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala starting with the VIP Cocktail Reception at 4:30 p.m., generously sponsored by Ticona Engineering Polymers. At 5:00 p.m. the main exhibit area will open for general admission and guests can review this year's Automotive Innovation Awards part nominations, as well as enjoy the specialty and antique vehicles that are always a highlight of the show. Dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the awards program itself will last from 7:00-9:00 p.m. For those who wish to extend merrymaking and networking activities, the ever-popular Afterglow - also sponsored by Ticona - will run from 9:00-11:00 p.m.

    SPE's Automotive Innovation Awards Program is the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the world. Dozens of teams made up of OEMs, tier suppliers, and polymer producers submit nominations describing their part, system, or complete vehicle and why it merits the claim as the Year's Most Innovative Use of Plastics. This annual event typically draws 600 to 800 OEM engineers, automotive and plastics industry executives, and media. As is customary, funds raised from this event are used to support SPE educational efforts and technical seminars, which help educate and secure the role of plastics in the advancement of the automobile.

    The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia, and the public about these advances. SPE's Automotive Division is active in educating, promoting, recognizing, and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic-based-composite developments in the global transportation industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design, and development.
    For more information about the SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition and Gala or to download nomination forms and rules for this year's competition, please visit the SPE Automotive Division website at and, or contact the group at +, or write SPE Automotive Division, 1800 Crooks Road, Suite A, Troy, MI 48084, USA. For more information on the Society of Plastics Engineers or other society events, visit the SPE website at, or call +1.203.775.0471.

    ® SPE is a registered trademark of the Society of Plastics Engineers. All other trademarks are the property of their owners.

    ® Chevrolet Monza & Camaro, Pontiac Fiero & Firebird, Saturn, EV1, Cadillac SRX, STS, & CTS, & GMC, are registered trademarks of General Motors Co.

    ® SAE International is a registered trademark SAE International.

    Media Contact:
    Peggy Malnati, SPE Auto. Div. Comm. Chair
    Phone: +1.248.592.0765

    More from Mechanical Power Transmission

  • All Topics

    COVID-19 Response Suppliers COVID-19 Response:
    Can Your Company Help Provide Critical Supplies?

    We are using the power of our platform to aid in the mass shortage of critical supplies. If your company can help provide supplies, capabilities, or materials for products such as N-95 Masks and Tyvek SuitsPlease let us know.

    COVID-19 Response Suppliers