Areas of expertise

  • Air Transport Safety & Investigation
  • Human Factors
  • Safety, Resilience, Risk & Reliability


Graham holds a BSc (Hons) in Transport Management and Planning and a PhD in Aviation Safety Management from Loughborough University. From 1997 to 2003, he taught Aviation Safety and Human Factors at the University of New South Wales in Australia and was involved in a range of research projects covering ATC, cabin safety, rescue and firefighting and engineering human factors.

Graham joined Cranfield University in 2003 as the Director of the Safety and Accident Investigation Centre where he launched new multimodal accident investigation courses in 2004 and the world's first MSc for aircraft accident investigators in 2005. He was promoted to Professor and Head of the Department of Air Transport in 2006, Head of the Transport and Safety Engineering Division in 2013 and Director of the Transport Systems Theme in 2015.

In 2011, Graham led the University's successful bid for a Queen's Anniversary Prize. This is the highest honour that can be given to a UK academic institution and was awarded for Cranfield's "world-leading work in aviation safety through research and teaching in air accident investigation." In 2012, he was given the honour 'Distinguished Alumni' of Loughborough University and in 2013 he was able to collect the Flight Safety Foundation's Richard Teller Crane Founders Award on behalf of Cranfield University for its sustained corporate leadership in aviation safety.

In 2019, Graham led the University's successful bid for its sixth Queen's Anniversary Prize - for the University's flying classrooms and laboratories.

Research opportunities

Applications for PhD research in areas relating to transport safety management, accident investigation and human factors are always welcome.

Please contact me for a preliminary conversation about your area of interest.

Current activities

Professor Braithwaite is Director of Transport Systems - one of the eight industry-facing themes that make up Cranfield University. Transport Systems covers seven centres: Air Transport Management; Advanced Vehicle Engineering; the National Flying Laboratory Centre; Engineering Photonics; Integrated Vehicle Health Management; the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC); and Safety & Accident Investigation. The Theme operates a number of unique facilities including a SAAB 340B+ Flying Classroom and Laboratory, Boeing 737 Ground Demonstrator, Accident Investigation Laboratory, the Multi User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation (MUEAVI) and an Off-Road Vehicle Dynamics Test Facility.

Graham is also Professor of Safety and Accident Investigation and the academic lead for the University's £67 million Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) which became operational in 2021.

Graham is involved in the development and delivery of training for transport accident investigators and has a particular interest in safety culture. He regularly speaks at international symposia and conferences on the topic (e.g. Safeskies, the Royal Aeronautical Society, Shell Aircraft, CHC Safety & Quality Forum) and is regularly called upon to provide expert advice on safety from organisations including the news media (e.g. BBC, ITN, CNN), the aviation industry and the House of Commons Transport Select Committee.

Graham is the independent non-exec on the TUI Airways Safety Review Board and Independent Safety Adviser to the British Airways Board.


  • Civil Aviation Authority
  • Department for Transport
  • European Maritime Safety Agency
  • Laing O'Rourke
  • National Police Air Service
  • Air Safety Support International
  • Capital A Berhad (AirAsia)
  • Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd
  • British Airways
  • China Airlines
  • EasyJet PLC
  • AirTanker 2021 Ltd
  • Boeing Co
  • European Aviation Safety Agency
  • Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department
  • MTR Corporation Ltd (Hong Kong)
  • Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (Hong Kong)
  • Rail Accident Investigation Branch
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau
  • ALPA Japan
  • Japan Transport Safety Board
  • QinetiQ Group PLC
  • Belfast Airport
  • Hong Kong International Airport


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers