I will talk with Toby Schneider, aka my stepfather, about his spiritual path and professional work.
Toby Schneider graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering in 1976 with a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. After working in Milwaukee for six years which included testing safety systems for a nuclear power plant, he moved to Tucson in 1982 to promote solar power. He did custom solar photovoltaic cell design and repairs part-time for Photocomm. There he met Ed Eaton and Bill Cerrito, who introduced him to the Tucson Solar Potlucks at Catalina State Park.
In 1989, he became secretary of Citizens for Solar, the non-profit organization that sponsors the Tucson Solar Potluck each year. He started building solar ovens and voltage regulators for solar photovoltaic cells. In 1994, he became chair of Citizens for Solar, and he remained chair of that organization for seven years. At that time, he began the first of over 50 solar oven demonstrations in public schools to promote solar education. A year later, he partnered with his future wife to start a business called Solar Works, which offered workshops for customers to build solar ovens and batch hot water heaters. To date, Solar Works customers have made 78 solar ovens and 15 solar water heaters. Three years ago, he modified an old 9’ diameter satellite dish and uses it to operate a pressure cooker hung at the focal point. This cooker cooks 10 lbs. of anything in less than two hours and reaches temperatures over 1,000 degrees F.
Toby works as an engineering consultant. His work has included designing and building speed regulators for swamp coolers run by solar photovoltaic cells. Other projects include designing buck regulators and low-cost LED lights.
For the last 9 years, he has been a consultant for Arizona Capacitors designing electronic filters and test equipment.
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