Theeba Shafeeg

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0091-2766

Research Project Title: An Investigation into cold-weld adhesion for spacecraft repair after a space debris impact using space education based sub-orbital sounding rocket platform

Supervisors/s: Mark Wylie

Project Funding: Presidents Fellowship Award Masters Research



  • Biography
  • Research Project Description
  • Publications and Outputs


I am an Aerospace Engineering graduate from South-East Technological University (SETU), Carlow campus, Ireland. My research interests include aerospace material development and fusion of metals at low temperatures.


Research Project Description

Cold weld adhesion is a term attributed towards unwanted fusion in metals. In terrestrial surroundings, it is a rare occurrence, but in space, the lack of an atmosphere encourages this. This research will examine the use of cold welding in the repair of spacecraft due to a space debris/micrometeorite impact. The objective is to create a test apparatus that will apply a custom patch and investigate its adhesion properties during re-entry under a variety of mechanical application conditions. With the increase in space debris and the likelihood of collisions and potential damage, it is critical that a standard method for such repairs be known in order to avoid emergency or failure of upcoming launches. This research will form the basis for a REXUS student sounding rocket experiment that will monitor the performance of such a hull repair in-situ, increasing this technology to TRL 6.


Publications and Outputs

International Congress on Advances Materials Sciences and Engineering, Vienna 2023
Poster Presentation, Title: A Review of Experimental Studies of Cold Welding of Metals in the Space Environment. Poster presents cold welding experimental findings from the literature dating from 1950s to present day. It examines the test method, material chemical composition, sample preparation method, adhesion forces and their measurement. This data helps to form experimental test requirements the next part of research.
Won Best Poster Award.