Nur Zulkifle

Nur Zulkifle

Why did you decide to study at the University of Leeds?

I decided to study at the University of Leeds because it is a reputable university, and the fact that it's in a really nice city is great too. I was really impressed by the university overall, and it had a really nice vibe when I did research on it. Also, the campus was really impressive. I thought the campus surroundings were really nice. More importantly, I picked Leeds because I like the course and the flexibility within modules. Plus, the staff at Leeds are passionate about their research areas and highly committed to their students. 

What has been the best aspect of studying on your course and why?

The best aspect was that I was able to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying materials from lectures and tutorials to real life work through laboratory classes and project work. In Year 1, I completed a project where I worked with 4 students in designing a remotely controlled buggy. I was in charge of building and testing H-bridge motor control circuits that controlled the buggy’s movement under radio link. 

In Year 2, I successfully completed a project designing and programming a prototype tool within a tightly constrained set of software libraries and hardware components. I found this project very challenging yet enjoyable because I was given opportunities to develop valuable skills in solving problems, communication (both written and oral) and teamwork. 

In Year 3, you are allowed to take more specialist modules that focus on topics such as electric drive systems, electric power systems and integrated circuit design. I have conducted a group project worth 50 credits and it was an invaluable experience as we have to design an all-terrain exploration robot from square one. Nonetheless, with excellent teamwork, good planning and enough guidance from our supervisor the project has been a success. 

Why did you want to take part in the Toyoda internship?

The main reason why I applied for the Toyoda internship program was because I believe that internships are the career foundation and investments in my future. This internship will provide me with new-found knowledge and improved skills where using analytical thinking and problem solving are necessary. Also, I would be able to gain real-life, hands-on experience which is a great tool to make me a better potential employee. 

I acknowledged that Toyota Boshoku is a car interior system supplier company that delivers excellent products in car production with genuine recognition in the automotive industry. I believe that Toyota Boshoku will provide excellent practical training programs with remarkable mentors. The Japanese company attracts me not only because Toyota’s philosophy regarding its employees as their core values, the concept Kaizen that always strikes for continuous improvement in Japanese culture piqued my interest to take part in the Toyoda internship program.

What has your experience been like so far?

I can honestly say that my time spent interning with Toyota Boshoku resulted in one of the best summers of my life. I knew it was exactly the kind of opportunity I'd been looking for, so I look forward to learning more about my current project and how I can contribute to company success. Not only I did gain practical skills but I also had the opportunity to meet many fantastic people. The atmosphere at the company office was always welcoming which made me feel comfortable. Additionally, I felt like I was able to contribute to the company by assisting and working on my project throughout this summer. Overall, my internship at Toyota Boshoku Japan has been a success. I was able to gain practical skills, work in a fantastic environment, and make connections that will last a lifetime. I could not be more thankful for this great opportunity which I would be able to experience the Japanese unique cultures and I have developed myself both academically, professionally and socially.  

What skills have you gained from this experience?

This internship was a very useful experience as it has given me new insight and motivation to pursue a career in automotive industry. I have a gained new knowledge and technical skills about the current technology in the automotive sector. More than anything, I got insight into professional practice. Through this, I was be able to improve my professional conduct such as adaptability, problem solving, team working and communication skills to a new extent and utilize these technical capabilities in my future career. In addition, I also believe that this internship was a good opportunity to find out my strengths and weaknesses are. Overall, this program helped me to define what skills and knowledge I have to work on in the coming time. 

What is your role within the company?

My project is to understand and investigate the current system of the motor unit in the hybrid vehicles (HV) and electric vehicles (EV) and improve any open issue. I got to work with real data and my data was particularly interesting because it was gained through a very recent approach. Through education and hands-on training from my mentors and supervisors, I was able to understand the project and solve any problems. After discussion with my team members, we have proposed a new idea in order to improve the current HV system and I can say that our proposal is promising for future implementation. 

Can you give me an insight into a typical day?

I personally felt that I was excited to come to work every day because I was doing work that I felt was very interesting and important. The first phase of the program involves the education on the HV system and hands-on training on the motor structure where I had a chance to work with real system of the PHEV Toyota Prius. The next phase involves the motor efficiency and loss factor analysis where I did the simulations using software called JMAG. Then, after I identified the problem I had to propose a new idea on how to improve the efficiency of the current system. My job requires me to work both in the office and in the laboratory to evaluate my proposal. Plus, every Wednesday I had to prepare a report on that week progress to my department manager and sometimes I need to attend a few meetings with other team members. In overall, I can say that every day is a busy day because I need to deliver my work on time so that my teammates can proceed with the next step. There's never a boring moment at all.