Dr. Reid was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas and grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from OSU. He served in the Army Reserves briefly and later received his D.Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a Ford Fellowship. He was an Associate Professor at MIT for four years before returning to Stillwater, OK to teach at OSU in 1964. At OSU, he served as the head of the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from 1976 to 1986 and as the dean of CEAT from 1986 to 2011. In 1988, he was selected as the Outstanding Engineer in Oklahoma. He founded the Web Handling Research Center (WHRC) at OSU, which led the significant fundamental developments in the transport behavior of webs (flexible materials) and roll-to-roll manufacturing by partnering with a number of prominent web handling companies. The WHRC was one of the longest surviving NSF I/UCRC Centers with strong industry support. His scholarly activities as part of this center included fundamental developments in Lateral & Longitudinal Dynamics and Control. He also created the International Web Handling Conference (IWEB), which was held biennially from 1991 to 2019. Karl was an excellent storyteller who was always ready with a story for the occasion; and he was an excellent mentor to students and faculty.
Dr. Reid was a Fellow of the ASME and the American Society for Engineering Education. He took a number of leadership positions in DSCD, including serving as the Chair of the DSCD and the ASME director of the American Automatic Control Council (AACC).
Dr. Reid is survived by his wife of 64 years, Verna Lou Westmoreland; his son Ryan, wife Patty, their daughter Zoe; and his son Darren, wife Carolina, their daughter Violet, their sons Truman and Cooper.