A&M International's Faculty Research Could Impact Community

Research done at Texas A&M International University and other institutions can have an impact not just on students, but on the rest of the community as well.

For example, A&M International recently hired Dr. Qingwen Ni as an assistant professor of physics. His research interests include magnetic resonance (nuclear magnetic resonance and electron spin resonance) applications, which may sound pie-in-the-sky, but could have an impact on local industry.

Dr. Ni and co-inventors have been awarded United States Patent Numbers 6,046,587 and 6,268,727 for two types of flowmeters. Flowmeters measure the flow of a fluid through a defined area and can be used for a variety of measurements, particularly in oil production. The two instruments can be used to determine several variables including velocity, flow rate and the fractional amounts of oil, water and gas is at a given point in the pipeline. Dr. Ni's inventions will help with these previously difficult tasks by using both nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electronic spin resonance (ESR), which could impact oil production in Laredo.

Conventional flowmeters separate the fluid in the pipeline into its various components such as water, gas and oil, and then measure each individually. As the water and gas content of recoverable petroleum output has increased and oil fields have become more inaccessible, there is a need for more sophisticated equipment that can take many measurements at once. Ni's invention may fill that need.

Dr. Juan H. Hinojosa, dean of the College of Science and Technology, said that he was pleased to have Ni join the College's fine faculty.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Ni to the College of Science & Technology, and are confident that his research will continue to produce new and exciting results," Dr. Hinojosa said.

Ni and his colleagues at the University will continue researching, potentially discovering new information or inventing new technologies. Currently, he is developing a technique to detect and characterize the porosity in human bone by a rapid, noninvasive manner using nuclear magnetic resonance. This technology can be used to diagnose human bone diseases such as osteoporoses and thus improve the lives of people both locally and nationwide.

For more information, please contact Ni at 326.2499, visit offices in C Building, room 203 or email qni@tamiu.edu.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu