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Humans of TU Delft: Irene Fernandez Villegas
Irene Fernandez Villegas. (Photo Heather Montague)

Who are the people who study and work at TU Delft? We meet them in Humans of TU Delft where they talk about their work or other activities. Assistant professor Dr Irene Fernandez Villegas (LR) describes herself as passionate and stubborn. But sometimes, it pays to be that way.

“Some things have happened in the last year for me that are changing the game and I think it’s in part because of my research. I am very passionate about what I do and I am very stubborn. If I think something is worth investigating I go with all my energy.

I work on welding processes for composites. When I started at TU Delft 10 years ago there was this process called ultrasonic welding and I started working on it. At that time there were papers saying yeah, it’s a nice process, but nobody was working on it. I saw the potential so I continued and I saw results.

‘I’m pretty proud, but I’m scared at the same time’

So I went to talk to Airbus and I told them I saw these results and they said no, we are never going to use that process because we don’t believe in it. I said fine, I will prove you wrong. And last year Airbus came to us with a list of the welding technologies that they want to use for their new aircraft and my technology was at the top of the list.

Now I have a contract with them, they put a lot of money on the table and said they want to industrialise this. The manager who said this would never work also came to visit us. When we showed him the process he was flabbergasted. I’m pretty proud, but I’m scared at the same time. Now I have to work to get it right.”

Want to be featured in Humans of TU Delft? Or do you know someone with a good story to tell? Send us an e-mail at humansoftudelft@gmail.com

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