Rachel W. Obbard

Assistant Professor of Engineering



Rachel Obbard studied engineering physics at the Colorado School of Mines (BSc), earned her MSc in materials science and engineering at the University of New Hampshire, and earned her PhD in engineering with a concentration in materials science at Dartmouth. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England and returned to Thayer in January 2009. Professor Obbard is interested in all aspects of materials science, but especially in the study of natural ice in the Polar Regions and in materials in sports equipment and in cultural heritage. A certified AASI snowboard instructor, Professor Obbard developed and teaches ENGS 8, Materials in Sports Equipment.


Research Interests

Materials science; ice and snow microstructure, microstructure and structural glaciology; porous materials, sea ice, air-snow-ice-ocean physicochemical interactions; materials in sports equipment; materials in cultural heritage; nanostructured thin films; micro-computed tomography; scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), synchrotron X-ray micro fluorescence, Raman spectroscopy; women in science

Current Research Projects

Selected Publications

Professional Activities


In Dartmouth Engineer Magazine


Unlocking a Sea Ice Secret: Bromide and Other Impurities in Snow and Sea Ice

FIRST® LEGO® League Robotics Tournament 2014