A Mechanical Engineer by training, Dr Graham specialised in aeronautical fatigue, working with BAE SYSTEMS for a number of years. In 2002 she moved to Imperial College London and later became Director of the EnVision project, which sought to transform the undergraduate education across all nine departments in the Faculty of Engineering and improve its culture of support and reward for teaching excellence.
Dr Ruth Graham has worked as an independent higher education consultant since 2008. Her work is focused on fostering change in higher education across the world; helping to improve teaching and learning worldwide and supporting the emergence of technology-driven entrepreneurship within universities. Dr Graham's current and recent projects have included: (i) a global benchmarking study on the future of engineering education, on behalf of MIT; and (ii) the development of a new framework for evaluating and rewarding university teaching achievement, sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, which is currently being adopted at universities across the world.
In June 2018, Dr Graham was awarded an honorary doctorate from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, for distinguished efforts in developing engineering programmes. In September 2020, she was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Medal by the European Society for Engineering Education for outstanding contributions to engineering education (see Laudatio).