06.11.2018 | Using machine learning and artificial intelligence

Agile movers

Machine learning, artificial intelligence, clouds – as the Head of Market Intelligence & Quant Development Yves Muheim counts on an inquisitive, knowledge-thirsty team to transform challenges into opportunities.

Information technology and the energy sector – both areas are undergoing enormous change. How do you respond to this transformation?
IT in the energy sector has changed drastically in the past years. In order to stay flexible, we at Axpo increasingly rely on agile micro-services instead of large-scale applications. We can use micro-services to combine and develop various new solutions. Because we decided on this from of work at an early stage, we were able to position ourselves in promising niches and are successful in Switzerland as well as abroad.

And what are the opportunities – for the company and employees?

Challenges and opportunities are often closely linked: Renewable energies are not available in consistent volumes, which results in significant price fluctuations. Axpo knows how forecast important energy sources such as wind and water: We know how much water a reservoir currently contains, how thick the snow covering is, and whether there will be a thaw. Based on this information we calculate the available energy volume. We use this knowledge base to make our decisions, for example selling or holding electricity. For the calculations we have to work intensively with new technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence – that's interesting and challenging for our employees. They won't get bored at Axpo.

«If someone in our team wants to try out something new, he or she gets the time to do it.»

What qualities are necessary to keep pace in the energy market. And are Axpo employees challenged?
You have to be inquisitive and open. No one can stand still in our area because it is constantly changing. To keep pace, we actively support our staff: They can attend numerous trainings at our Axpo Academy or with external service providers to keep fit. The mix in the teams also makes a difference: From the young physicist to the sixty-year old senior developer – different personalities and experience come together here. That's truly an asset for everyone. We also place great emphasis on creating the free space to generate new ideas. If someone has a good idea, he or she can pursue it at Axpo.

What's your advice to young IT talents who are interested in the energy sector?
That's easy: I recommend that young IT talents who are interested in IT in combination with energy attend one of the lectures by my colleague Gaudenz Köppel at the ETH in Zurich. Gaudenz is the Head of Models & Optimization and brings the two worlds together in his lectures. When spark the interest of young talents we attract good candidates.

The interview with Yves Muheim was conducted by Ute Liebig, Editor-in-Chief at Bilanz – Universum Top 100 magazine. The magazine is published annually and lists the top 100 employers in Switzerland. The ranking is based on a survey that was carried out by Universum, in which 10,823 students from 148 different fields of study in Switzerland participated. In this survey Axpo was no. 41 in the category "Engineering", no. 62 in "Natural Sciences", and no. 93 in "IT".

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