Rachel Obbard


Thayer School of Engineering


Dartmouth College

rachel.w.obbard [at] dartmouth.edu


14 Engineering Drive
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Brief Biography

Rachel W. Obbard is an Assistant Professor at the Thayer School of Engineering. She earned her B.S. in Engineering Physics with a minor in Geology from the Colorado School of Mines in 1985, her M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of New Hampshire in 2002, and her Ph.D. in Engineering from Thayer in 2006. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England. Obbard’s research investigates the microstructure of natural materials, especially sea ice, and examines the ways microstructure affects material properties. Her published work includes studies of glacier and ice sheet crystal structure, the application of characterization techniques (such as tomographic imaging) to natural materials, and the discovery of microplastics in Arctic sea ice. She has conducted field research in Antarctica and the Arctic. As an engineer, she holds a patent on a device for transporting sea ice cores and is active in the field of sports engineering.


Sea Ice, Land Ice/Glaciers, Physical Science, Engineering

Science Specialties

Sea ice microstructure; materials characterization techniques; porous materials

Current Research

brine network topology