Alumnus Marcos A. Reyes-Martinez, a materials research engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), was honored by the U.S. Department of Commerce for Hispanic Heritage Month in October. He was chosen as one of only two employees to be spotlighted from among roughly 50,000 workers at the department.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Reyes-Martinez earned his master’s degree in polymer science from UMass Amherst in 2011 and his Ph.D. in 2015. He completed postdoctoral studies at Princeton University and is currently a National Science Foundation fellow at NIST.
In a blog post on the Department of Commerce website, Reyes-Martinez talks about his work with colleagues to reactivate the Association for NIST Hispanic Americans (ANHA). “Our renewed purpose is to conduct outreach in the local Hispanic community, especially among youth, to spark the interest of a new generation of Hispanic scientists,” he writes.
At NIST, Reyes-Martinez researches new materials for impact mitigation, for such applications as better helmets for athletes, stronger body armor for soldiers, and lightweight impact-resistant materials for space crafts. “Working at one of the most important national labs, in a country at the frontier of scientific knowledge, is a unique privilege,” he says.