From Design Engineering To Artificial Intelligence: A Four-Decade Schneider Electric Career, and the Jobs You Might Not Realize We Have

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For a boy reared on a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, my role at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning might seem a little incongruous.

But looking back, I can see how milking cows, planting and harvesting crops, and working through farm equipment issues provided me with the dependability, work ethic and resilience I still draw upon daily to drive the digital transformation of industrial automation and energy management.

A Schneider Electric career spanning hardware, software and AI

When I joined Schneider Electric in 1984, with a two-year degree in engineering technology, I quickly realized that I needed to start over with a four-year engineering degree.

Gladly, my manager provided me with the flexibility I needed to achieve my goal while working full time and, at that stage, I could not have imagined the kind of work we’re doing today with AI.

Over the course of my career alone, Schneider has transformed. What was once a manufacturing company focused on the production of market-leading electrical hardware — think circuit breakers, switchgear, protection relays, etc. — is now increasingly focused on offering services and consulting advice, and developing software and digital solutions for energy management and industrial automation.

Those solutions are powerful tools when it comes to improving energy efficiency — and thus reducing the CO2 emissions that help cause climate change.

Just like a fitness device that monitors your calorie output and heart rate, Schneider’s digital tools measure real-time processes in electrical hardware and render previously invisible patterns of energy consumption — and, crucially, energy waste — visible.

And by quickly and accurately measuring and analyzing vast quantities of traditionally inaccessible, unstructured data, our AI and machine learning solutions give our customers the information they need to consume their energy as efficiently as possible. This also helps them save money — whether they’re heating a family home, or powering a data center, factory, office, hospital, or any other building.

Flexibility, support and openness: a welcoming digital home

I’ve worked across too many functional areas of Schneider to name. And in 38 years here, I’ve had plenty of exposure to new challenges, and opportunities to learn new skills. That’s a big part of the reason why I’ve stuck around so long. That, and the people I work with are awesome.

That same range of diverse challenges and opportunities is open to new joiners today.

What’s more, throughout my career at Schneider, I’ve always felt supported, valued, and encouraged, and have never once been made to feel afraid of failing. The company embraces and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion in all its forms and provides its people with invaluable flexibility regarding how, where and when we work.

I can arrange my hours to watch my high-school-age daughter participate in afternoon sports events, for example, while still having the option to work alongside colleagues in the office as and when we want to.

Of course, I also derive great personal and professional motivation from the fact that Schneider does so much to combat the climate crisis and thus to preserve the natural environment in which I was raised. The work we’re doing in AI is increasingly fundamental to that mission.

All this is to say that I have no plans to go anywhere else anytime soon. And to those of you who’re eager to pursue a career in digital innovation and AI – and to make a positive long-term impact on the planet and society at the same time — I’d say Schneider Electric is a great place to be.

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About the Author

Todd Munyon is the Artificial Intelligence Leader for North America and possesses a proven track record of developing and deploying cutting edge AI and machine learning solutions across diverse business functions. Based in Nashville, Todd joined Schneider Electric in 1984 and has since worked widely across the company. He currently leads a fast-growing global team responsible for generating significant business impact in 2023. Outside work, Todd is a keen water sports enthusiast, notably wake surfing, and enjoys reading and spending time with his family.

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