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Alumnus David Reid is the latest recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Reid is the president and CEO of Helicon Chemical Company. He founded the company during his last year of graduate studies at UCF to pursue his passion for technology commercialization. This year, Helicon Chemical was awarded its 10th government contract for advanced materials development, with plans to expand research and manufacturing operations in Central Florida and the Space Coast. Reid continues to maintain strong ties to the UCF community to build a legacy of innovation in the region.

His work has spanned the fields of optics, structural materials, environmental remediation, rocket propulsion, energetic materials, and biotechnology. While at UCF, he was a recipient of the Robert D. Kersten Graduate Fellowship and won the prestigious AVS National Student Award for his contributions to the field of nanotechnology. He has co-authored 17 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, numerous conference proceedings, and has 10 patents and patents pending. He resides in Cocoa, Florida, and sails when he is not in the lab.