Mary Albert: Ice and Snow and Many Hats
February 4, 2013
By her own admission, Mary Albert, Thayer ’83, wears many hats in the pursuit of her three loves: education, science, and engineering. The common threads running through them are ice and snow.
Albert has been on the Dartmouth faculty for five years, but her history with the institution is much longer. She spent 30 years just up the road as a senior research engineer at the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and she earned a pair of degrees from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth.
“When the people here at Thayer heard I was retiring from CRREL, they said, ‘Why don’t you come and join us here?’” says Albert. “I said I’d be delighted to, because I wasn’t really ready to sit home and knit.”
Now a professor of engineering at Thayer School, she maintains an unwavering commitment to mentoring and teaching that may go back to her pre-CRREL stint as a Woodstock High School math teacher. “I think the next generation of scientists and engineers are really important for all of us, and when I was working at CRREL, I’d always have Dartmouth students working on my projects,” Albert says.
Currently, Albert has graduate students working toward master’s and PhD degrees, and “a herd of undergraduates.” She has established the Ice and Climate Seminar series, which provides an opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to get practice in speaking about their research in a collegial, interdisciplinary setting. “The Ice and Climate seminars enhance cross-campus communication and partnerships; it is a monthly meeting where students and faculty from engineering, earth science, and other departments can share ideas, get input on their research, and potentially form new partnerships.”