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Jeff Kessler

Jeff Kessler is a systems optimizer focused on the iterative analysis and optimization of systems. Despite his young age, Jeff holds two undergraduate degrees (Wharton and Penn Engineering from the selective M&T Program) and has years of unparalleled experience in the transportation industry (having worked for Amtrak, SEPTA, MTA New York City Transit, and WMATA / DC Metro in addition to having launched his own transit information platform called The Transit Navigator).

Currently, Jeff is pursuing two graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania: an M.S.E. Systems Engineering from Penn Engineering and a Policy and Technology M.L. from Penn Law. Through his technical, legal, behavioral, and business backgrounds, Jeff strives to develop systems that are functionally optimized and maximize stakeholder goals.


Systems Engineering

Nothing we encounter functions in isolation; rather, everything is a set of components with complex interdependencies. Systems engineering utilizes engineering methodologies, optimization techniques, and sensitivity analyses to improve these systems.

Behavioral Economics

Why do optimized systems often fail? They regularly make incorrect assumptions about human behavior and rationality. Behavioral Economics provides a toolkit for analyzing decisions, optimizing systems, and developing creative solutions in light of known behavioral biases and decision processing.

Business & Finances

Virtually every system we encounter is governed by money and finances. Acting as the life-blood behind many systems, quite simply, solid financial understanding is critical to robust decision-making.

Policy & Law

Sometimes the most critically-overlooked component of decision making is that of policy and legal implications. Knowing how to design and build systems within a complex regulatory environment along with an understanding of effective policy crafting is required for modern success.

Graduate & Undergraduate Education

University of Pennsylvania

Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology (M&T)

The Wharton School

Bachelor of Science in Economics, 2016
Concentration in Behavioral Economics

Penn Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Engineering: Systems Science & Engineering, 2016

Master of Science in Engineering: Systems Engineering, 2017

Penn Law

Policy & Technology Master in Law, 2017

Penn Transit Advisory Board  —  M&T Program Student Board —  Robotics Program Teaching Assistant



Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA / Metro)

Digital Customer Experience Initiatives, Summer 2016


SEPTA Youth Advisory Council

Appointed May 2013, Executive Chairman August 2013 to Present

Delaware River Port Authority

Delaware River Port Authority

Citizens Advisory Committee Member, Appointed December 2014

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Delaware River Port Authority

New York City Transit

System Data & Research (SDR), Summer 2015


Southeastern P.A. Transportation Authority

Customer Development & Improvement Special Projects, Summer 2014

The Transit Navigator

The Transit Navigator

Founded 2012



Engineering Department, September 2010 – May 2011

Additional Information & Endeavors

Previous Education

Science Leadership Academy, Class of 2012

Long Island School for the Gifted, Class of 2008

Specialization Education

Rail Transportation Program

Michigan Technological University

Dolan DNA Learning Center

DNA Restriction Analysis


Robotics in The Classroom

TA, Teachers Institute of Philadelphia

Technical Skills

Excel (w/ Optimization Tools)

Extensive Knowledge


Working Knowledge


Working Knowledge


Extensive Knowledge; 9+ Successful Deployments

Project Management

Trained in Best Practice Project Management

Speaking Engagements

Volunteer Organizations

Fantastic Friends Social Group

Web Integration Director | Volunteer Staff Member

Penn For Youth Debate

Volunteer | Tournament Director | Website Manager | Executive Board Member

M&T Student Board

Webmaster | Communications Chair

Conference Organization

EduCon Conference

Chief Process Engineer | Alumni Consultant

The Franklin Institute

Galileo Conference | Workshop Design

Philly Tech Week

“School 2.0“ Co-Chair, 2011

Philadelphia Science Festival

Organizer & Exhibit Leader, 2011


American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Jack R. Gilstrap Scholarship, 2016

North America’s Highest Award in Public Transportation

Norman Gross Award, 2016

for Excellence in Systems Design

Richard K. Dentel Award

for Excellence in Urban Transportation

Davidson Institute for Talent Development

Davidson Young Scholar

American Mensa

Mensa Member

Johns Hopkins CTY

Visual-Spatial Ability National High Honors Award

9-Time Science Fair Award Winner

  • 1st Award (5.0/5.0), Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science – State Competition, 2012
  • Orelin Award for Outstanding High School Science Student, 2012
  • 1st Award (4.9/5.0), Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science – Regional Competition, 2012
  • 3rd Place, Education.com National Virtual Science Fair, 2011
  • US Air Force Science and Engineering Achievement Award, 2011
  • 1st Award, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science – State Competition, 2011
  • 1st Award, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science – Regional Competition, 2011
  • 1st Place, George Washington Carver Science Fair, 2010
  • 1st Award, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science – State Competition, 2010