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Volunteer Spotlight: Marcos Pinares, Jr.

Posted: June 29, 2022

After 12 years in the industry, Blue Origin, LLC, Aerospace Systems Engineer Marcos Pinares, Jr., has worked with a number of professionals—and found the value of mentorship.

“It’s important to share lessons learned and to help students establish a sense of what’s going to be expected of them when they enter the industry,” Pinares said. “After 12 years of engineering, I’ve had a plethora of mentors across different sites and functions- from my latest mentor at Blue who helped me grow into the Thermal Analysis/Cognizant Engineer role to the many senior engineers who both helped me learn the ropes and challenged my critical thinking and reasoning skills.”

These relationships led Pinares to seek opportunities to pass on his own expertise, and he found a way to do so through volunteer activities with SAE International. Pinares has leant his time and knowledge to the SAE Collegiate Design Series as a technical author/contributor and design report/presentation judge on the SAE AeroConnect Challenge and a design/presentation judge for the SAE Baja California Region.

The ability to volunteer and share his perspective plays into Pinares’ larger goal of making a contribution to the industry in both professional and personal ways. He’s interested in seeing diversity in mobility continue to grow, and has a passion for the pursuit of sustainable fuel sources—and even a curiosity about a future of mobility that could lead to beyond-Earth habitation.

All of these ideas need bright minds working in the field, and help to guide them along their path. For those looking to volunteer, Pinares offers a bit of advice.

“It’s a bit pithy, but just do it. I started with Baja because a good friend asked me to. I enjoyed it, and then he asked me to help out with AeroConnect, and here we are,” Pinares said. “Reach out to your regional SAE chapter (or other professional groups) or your own Employee Resource Groups and see what interests you or what you’d like to learn more about, and just ask to get involved. From a self-serving perspective, these opportunities give you the ability to ‘interview’ the next crop of talent with real projects and make connections across the industry.”

At SAE, we’re glad to have connected with you, Marcos!

June at SAE International is Volunteer Recognition Month, and we’ll be celebrating our volunteers and contributors all month long. Know a story we should tell? Contact Marketing Specialist Maria Graziano at to share the details.