I. (Irene) Fernandez Villegas PhD

I. (Irene) Fernandez Villegas PhD



  • ICUW (TIPP contract with CTC Gmbh) Development of industrial continuous ultrasonic welding for high performance thermoplastic composite materials, 2018-2022
  • STUNNING (EU Clean Sky 2 project), Smart multi-functional and integrated thermoplastic composite fuselage, 2018-2022.
  • EDGE (Dutch Government, STW Demonstrator project), Edge effect weakening by means of bypass conductor during induction welding of thermoplastic composites, 2017-2019.
  • FRACTUS (TU Delft Industry Partnership Programme –TIPP- contract with Airbus), Fracture mechanics of ultrasonically welded joints in thermoplastic composites, 2017-2020.
  • ECOTECH (EU Clean Sky 2 project), Development of innovative and eco-friendly airframe technologies from design to manufacturing to improve aircraft life cycle environmental footprint, 2017-2021.
  • EFFICOMP (H2020 project), Efficient composite parts manufacturing, 2015-2019.
  • WCCS (Dutch Government, regional funding), World class composite solutions, 2015-2017.
  • TAPAS 2 (Dutch Government), Thermoplastic composite affordable aircraft primary structures, 2013-2017.

Key publications

  • Zhao T., Rans C., Villegas I.F., Benedictus R. On sequential ultrasonic spot welding as an alternative to mechanical fastening in thermoplastic composite assemblies: a study on single-column multi-row single-lap shear joints. Composites Part A 2019: 120: 1-11.
  • Palardy G., Shi H., Levy A., Le Corre S., Villegas I.F. A study on amplitude transmission in ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic composites. Composites Part A 2018: 113: 339-349.
  • Villegas I.F., van Moorleghem R. Ultrasonic welding of carbon/epoxy and carbon/PEEK composites through a PEI thermoplastic coupling layer. Composites Part A 2018: 109: 75-83.
  • Sacchetti F., Grouve W., Warnet L., Villegas I.F. Effects of release media on the fusion bonding of carbon/PEEK laminates. Composites Part A 2017; 94: 70-76.
  • Villegas I.F. In situ monitoring of ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic composites through power and displacement data. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials 2015; 28(1): 66-85.
  • Villegas I.F., Vizcaino Rubio P. On avoiding thermal degradation during welding of high-performance thermoplastic composites to thermoset composites. Composites: Part A 2015; 77: 172-180.
  • Villegas I.F. Strength development versus process data in ultrasonic welding of thermoplastic composites with flat energy directors and its application to the definition of optimum processing parameters. Composites: Part A 2014; 65: 27-37.
  • Shi H., Villegas I.F., Bersee H.E.N. Strength and failure models in resistance welded thermoplastic composite joints: Effect of fibre-matrix adhesion and fibre orientation. Composites: Part A 2013; 55: 1-10.
  • Villegas I.F., Moser L., Yousefpour A., Mitschang P., Bersee H.E.N. Process and performance evaluation of ultrasonic, induction and resistance welding of advanced thermoplastic composites. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials 2012; 26(8): 1007-1024.


Dr. Irene Fernandez Villegas was born in Madrid (Spain) in 1972 and got her MSc degree on Aerospace Engineering by the Politechnical University of Madrid (UPM, Madrid, Spain) in 1996. In 2005 she got her PhD degree by the same University on a PhD dissertation entitled “ Analysis of the resistance welding process for advanced thermoplastic composite materials”. In Spain she worked as a researcher first at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of the UPM and subsequently at the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA). For several years she combined her career as a researcher at INTA with a part-time position as an assistant professor a the UPM (Faculty of Aerospace Engineering). In 2009 she joined TUDelft (Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Aerospace Materials and Structures Department) as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2013 she became Assistant Professor and then in 2019 Associate Professor in the ASM Department. 


During her career as a researcher and later on as an academic Dr. Irene Fernandez Villegas has accumulated more than 18 years of experience on polymer COMPOSITE WELDING TECHNOLOGIES. She believes that welding is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly solution for high-performance structural an non-structural polymer composite assemblies. In fact, composite welding is a key technology for enabling affordable high-volume production of the polymer composite aircraft of the future, which she envisions to be composed of fast-produced modular structures rapidly welded to each other. Aiming at facilitating the use of composite welding by industry, her research has a three-fold focus:

  • Development of smart composite welding processes
  • Generating understanding on the mechanical performance of composite welded joints
  • Expanding the applicability of composite welding (e.g. welding of dissimilar materials)

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