Ruggles has been at the College since 1985 and has taught courses in instruction of fluid mechanics, surveying, instrumentation, hydrology, planning and design, open channel hydraulics, independent study in geographical information systems and remote sensing, and FORTRAN programming. He also developed an interdisciplinary course to teach engineering methods to non-engineers, and served as a facilitator in the Lafayette College technology clinic.
Selected as a Fulbright Scholar in 2000-01, Ruggles worked through Markere University in Kampala, Uganda where he taught four undergraduate and two graduate level courses. In 1994, Ruggles also undertook a Department of Energy Summer Research Fellowship in Aiken, S.C. That followed a 1994 faculty research fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Navy/ASEE when he spent a 10 weeks at the Naval Research laboratory's Polar Oceanography branch in Hanover, N.H.
Ruggles earned his bachelor's degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Clarkson College in 1980 and followed with his master's degree in Civil Engineering two years later and his Ph.D. in Engineering Science in 1986. He served as an instructor at Clarkson from 1982-85. His time there came after four years in the Air Force (1972-76) where he repaired long-range radar systems. Ruggles also worked as a hydraulic engineer at Acres American, Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y.
Outside of teaching, Ruggles is a member of the Easton City Council and is a Maroon Club Executive Committee member for Lafayette's athletic fundraising group in addition to his time as a faculty mentor for the football team.
Ruggles and his wife Susan, a Lutheran minister, reside on College Hill. They have four adult children, Bryan, Stefanie, Jacob '01 and Karen '08.