About Me

I am a transport professional with a passion for public transport and transport policy. Originally from Australia, I have lived and worked in the United States since early 2012.


Picture: Presenting a bus rapid transit (BRT) project to Falls Church City Council in Virginia (November 2022)

Bio

Dr. Xavier Harmony is a transport professional with specialist expertise in public transport and rail. Recognizing the multidisciplinary nature of transport, he uses his diverse educational background, including engineering, business, policy, and planning, to develop cross-disciplinary approaches to complicated transport problems.


Dr. Harmony completed his PhD at Virginia Tech where his research focused on transport and electoral politics. Leveraging his work experience, Dr. Harmony's research particularly focuses on applied work (how can this work be used?) and threads equity in all he does (for whom do we design and manage our transport systems?). 


Dr. Harmony's contribution to the industry has been recognized through awards and scholarships from Mass Transit Magazine, he Eno Center for Transportation, the American Public Transportation Foundation, the American Society for Public Administration, the Transportation Research Forum, and the Institute of Transportation Engineers. 

Short Bio

Dr. Xavier Harmony is a transport professional with specialist experience in public transport and rail. His expertise includes urban policy and politics, transit planning, and transport funding and finance. Dr. Harmony completed a PhD focusing on transport planning at Virginia Tech and a masters in transport engineering at Penn State. He also has bachelor degrees in Civil Engineering and Business Management from QUT.

My Story

I was born in Ipswich, Queensland, just west of Brisbane (about a 10 hour drive north of Sydney). Growing up my career interests changed a lot. From a police officer at age 7, to a veterinarian at age 12, to a scientist at age 15. When I was 16, an influential maths teacher, Dr. Terry Byers, introduced me to engineering. 

In 2007 I started a double degree program in engineering and business at Queensland University of Technology. Although I started in mechanical engineering, I switched to civil after my first semester as I realized I was more interested in infrastructure than machines. As I completed my degree I considered working in geotechnical engineering and water engineering before planning a career in construction. First field work, and then infrastructure advisory. My internships really helped me figure out what I did and did not like. I was also very interested in traveling and working overseas. This influenced the kinds of companies I pursued.

I was in my last year of undergrad when my transport professor, Dr. Jonathan Bunker, mentioned a transport consulting firm in the United States was looking for a summer intern. Here was my first real chance to work overseas! I received an interview but, when the firm learned I was in my final year of university, the internship interview turned into a full-time job interview. After an intense 2-day interviewing process, the firm made me a job offer in the US They would sponsor my visa and fly me over. I was over the moon! 

In early 2012 I moved to the US to work for Kittelson. Originally I thought this would be a two, maybe four, year experience but it's lasted more than a decade. Although I had not originally considered transport as a career, I soon realized it was my true professional calling. I love working in transport. It is a field that affects everyone's lives. I especially became passionate about public transport. The efficiency of transit appealed to the engineering side of me while the social benefits appealed to my personal values. It is critical to the existence of cities, to social justice and equity, and to the future of transport. Now that I know where I want to focus my career, I am working on becoming a leader in my field. 

But my life isn't just work. Outside of work I like to travel (I have visited many states and cities since moving to the US), visit the mountains, and go to the movies. Most importantly, I like to spend quality time with my wife and daughter. 

My Life in a Map

Blue house: places I've lived; Green briefcase: places I've worked; Purple hat: places I've studied
Yellow bag: places I've traveled