Child scientist

‘A new generation of Hispanic scientists’

Alum recognized by US Department of Commerce and hopes to encourage youth in local Hispanic communities to study sciences 

January 13, 2020

Marcos A. Reyes-Martinez ’11, ‘15, Materials Research Engineer, 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 Santo Domingo, Reyes-Martinez received his masters degree in polymer science from UMass Amherst in 2011 and his PhD 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 spacecrafts. “Working at one of the most important national labs, in a country at the frontier of scientific knowledge, is a unique privilege,” he says.  

The spotlight on Commerce series highlighted the contributions of Department of Commerce Hispanic employees in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.  

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