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24 September 2020
Dr Ruth Graham received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, the highest distinction SEFI can bestow, for her outstanding contribution to engineering education. She was nominated by the SEFI Board of Directors and received this award from Jan van der Veen, the conference chair, and Yolande Berbers, the SEFI president, at the occasion of the SEFI 2020 Annual Conference.
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. She has made a 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.
A teaching cultures survey has provided baseline data and will measure follow-up progress. The open source nature of your approach allows all academic institutes to use key findings and roadmaps for implementation. If we try to identify what the successful ingredients are, we not only find the well-grounded academic features of her work, we also find the subtle composition of the international coalition both at the institutional and the personal level.
Her engineering background, outstanding consultancy skills, perseverance, strong vision and a sense of urgency are all combined in her. The Leonardo da Vinci medal is based on past performance, but we hope that Ruth Graham will continue the good work in our field!