Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Courtney Moffatt

Process Planning Engineer Apprentice – Nissan, Sunderland

Engineering Practice

Courtney Moffatt, a Process Planning Engineer Apprentice at Nissan, found her love for engineering while studying at Hartlepool College of Further Education. She is now expanding her skillset by enrolling on the Engineering Practice apprenticeship at the University of Sunderland and hopes to further her career within the company once she graduates.

As a Process Planning Engineer Apprentice at Nissan, my main priority is to ensure that the robots and the jigs are working as efficiently as possible. If there's a breakdown, we must come up with a solution by making an adjustment, modification, or implementing poka-yoke. I also complete any relevant paperwork linked to these changes, update the operation sheets, and create designs through CAD software. I'm currently supporting the Hypercomp team on a project to install an automatic line feed to line 1 by using Automated Guided Vehicles. This will remove the tow tractors, improving safety and just-in-time production.

Nissan is a global company, with over 6,000 employees at the Sunderland plant. I've managed to spend some time with a few departments to understand what their job is, allowing me to connect with people that I may need to contact in the future.

If I learn something new while studying, I'll ask questions at work to see if I can link what I have learned to my job. An example of this is when I was researching hard life and soft life components, and I asked my colleagues what parts we have at work that have these lives. As I'm still in the early stages of my apprenticeship, I feel like I still have a lot of knowledge to learn. However, I feel like I'm becoming more confident in my CAD abilities and creating drawing packs for the designs I produce thanks to my apprenticeship.

As an apprentice, I've learned to balance my work, study, and social life. I find that prioritising assignments that are due soon or are part of a group project, is the easiest way of getting all my university work done efficiently. It allows me to contact people for information, whether that be colleagues at work or academics at the University, and still have enough time to research topics that are relevant to the module so that I can complete my work to a high standard.

Once I complete my apprenticeship and graduate, I hope to continue at Nissan as a Graduate Engineer, broadening my knowledge in the engineering industry. I also hope that one day I'll have my own zone to look after and take responsibility for.

So far, my experience studying an apprenticeship at the University of Sunderland has been great. The University is incredibly supportive guiding you through your apprenticeship, and the lecturers are extremely helpful if you are struggling to understand a topic. Even though a degree apprenticeship can be difficult, as you're studying while learning your job role, there are so many benefits in taking this route to get to the career that you want."

Published 22 November 2023

More case studies