Thru Tubing Solutions went to McMurry University Professor, Dr. Robert Watson, with the request to design a tool for the oil field.
Watson explains, "They needed the ability to create a documented record of the torque that they were applying to pipe joints in the field."
He took an off-the-shelf pipe wrench and added electronics to it.
The smart wrench holds a lot of power. Inside the housing there are electronics that can measure the strain on the handle.
With the help of a mobile application, torque and other data is reported through a Bluetooth connection, from the wrench to the linked tablet or smart phone.
"It also has the ability to connect to the internet and send the data that's collected straight to the company's servers and it eliminated a lot of problems with transferring the data and keeping the electronics safe," Watson continues.
This invention is a major development for the oil industry, and it could possibly be a hit.
So could this be the end of Professor Watson?
He tells me, "Either way I expect to still be teaching at McMurry, but if the price of oil stays up there may be more tools and equipment that needs to be designed."
He may never give up his love of teaching, but his career in the design business could be off to a good start.