Monitoring the quality of luxury cars on the production line at Bentley Motors is proving to be a valuable opportunity for De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student Yelena Elysia Estepa.
Working as a quality specialist on the company’s continental assembly line, the Mechanical Engineering undergraduate is making good use of the knowledge she gained during her first two years of a three-year degree.
The 21-year-old, who is living in Crewe to be near her placement, is responsible for checking out vehicles that come off the production line.
“I am in a team responsible for the assembly line that produces the Flying Spur, Continental GT, and Continental GTC, and my job involves checking that the quality of the cars is up to standard by ensuring that issues from road test and paint damage are investigated and solved,” Yelena said.
“I have to check if the paint is chipped, scratched or if there is a dent on the car, if there is abnormal noise inside the car when driven and if there are any functional issues. It is also my job to escalate all issues with the production managers in our department and carry out problem solving activities.”
Yelena counts herself lucky to have landed a placement in a role where her mechanical engineering studies at DMU have stood her in good stead.
“I am really enjoying this placement and it’s a fantastic opportunity,” Yelena said. “The managers at the company are very supportive and it has been an amazing opportunity working on the job like this.
“It can be hard, but I am learning a lot and it helps me to familiarise myself with all the components in a car. It also gives me a chance to do a lot of problem solving and data analysis, which I enjoy.”
With support from DMU’s careers team, Yelena chose the placement at Bentley Motors as it complemented some of the modules on her degree. “As I have had no previous experience like this, I was specifically looking for a hands-on type of role,” she said.
“I am so grateful for the help and support I received from DMU with my placement applications, in particular from Megan Yates, as well as my course technician Jayan Mistry and our DMU Racing team leader Nuri Uysal. I would also like to thank my dad for supporting my studies here in the UK.
“There's so much to learn from people around you, so as early as possible, it’s important to try to network and be friends with people.”
Yelena also had the advantage of developing her practical skills outside of her degree. “I became a member of the DMU Racing Team, where we design and build a single seat racing car that we race at Silverstone in the Formula Student Championship. It was a great experience,” she said.
Before coming to DMU from the Philippines specially to study Mechanical Engineering in 2020, Yelena had made up her mind to study the subject at an early age.
“I was fascinated by engineering when I was 15 or 16,” she said. “While at school in the Philippines, I was doing a thesis on the use of methane gas from food waste as a sustainable alternative to liquefied petroleum gas, which is commonly used to cook food and is used daily in my country.
“The project raised my interest in scientific studies and I’d love to continue to do this kind of practical work once I have graduated.”
When Yelena’s placement finishes at the end of August, she can look forward to embarking on the final year of her BEng course at DMU next autumn.
Posted on Wednesday 15th March 2023