Highland News Leader

HIASAA Hall of Fame nominee: Bruce Case, Arts and Sciences

Bruce Case graduated from St. Paul High School in 1952.

In 1954, he took and passed all the exams for the Air Force Aviation Cadet program. He was appointed to pre-flight class at Lackland Air Force Base but was soon disqualified for health reasons.

He then enlisted in the regular Air Force and completed Communications Intelligence Analyst school and was assigned to Air Force Security Service detachments in the Philippines and Japan. In his last year of service, he was assigned to the National Security Agency in Arlington, Va., and Fort Meade, Md.

After leaving the Air Force, Case attended Louisiana State University and earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering, graduating first in his class of 60 engineers in 1961.

From 1962 to 1991, he spent his exemplary and distinguished career with DuPont. He was assigned engineering, research and management positions in various departments and locations around the world.

Case was a widely recognized international technical expert on magnetic recording tape and discs. He invented the DuPont Mylar 92DB polyester film for the new 3480 IBM Data Cartridge. As the sole supplier to IBM, this product earned more than $150 million in annual sales.

Case also invented the DuPont Mylar 50KB polyester film for music audio cassettes and worked with major tape producers around the world (Capital Records, RCA, Philips, 3M, Memorex, BASF, Fuji, Sony, Hitachi-Maxell and TDK) to qualify this film for audio cassettes. He conducted seminars at these companies and organized in-plant qualification testing. The first commercial recording on cassettes made with this new film was by Led Zeppelin.

Another invention was DuPont Mylar 300 PB polyester film for micro floppy discs, working with IBM, Verbatim Fuji, Sony, BASF and others to insure DuPont sole supplier position for early years in the life of the product.

Case assisted in the start up of Verbatim’s floppy disc manufacturing plant in Limerick, Ireland. In the process of qualifying DuPont Mylar 57VB polyester film for Sony VHS cassettes, Case became a personal friend of Akio Morita, founder and CEO of Sony, which was instrumental in gaining the confidence of Sony’s manufacturing plants in Japan and the U.S.

Case was awarded two patents for process improvements in the manufacturing of polyester film and one patent for improved shotgun shell primer while assigned to Remington Arms, a DuPont subsidiary.

Case has been a technical advisor to Hanna-Barbera Films in Hollywood and Remo Drums Inc. of Hollywood, where he assisted Remo in adapting polyester film for drumheads, replacing animal skin. By the late 1990s, all drumheads manufactured around the globe had converted to this film exclusively.

As technical advisor to Technicolor Corp. of Hollywood, Case solved serious quality problems they were having with their VHS movie tape.

He was also a consultant to Fuji Photo Film Co. of Japan, helping them coordinate transfer of videotape manufacturing from Japan to their new plant in South Carolina.

Having so many dealings with the Japanese, Case earned a diploma from Inlingua Language Institute in Atlanta. He speaks fluent Japanese.

After his retirement in 1991 from DuPont, Case began a his own consulting company, specializing in industrial market research, serving many of the top-ranked companies he had worked with in the past.

His final retirement was in 2001.

Over the years, Case has received many awards.

He retired as a DuPont Fellow, the highest science and engineering level in the company. Less that 0.1 percent of DuPont scientists and engineers are awarded this high level of accomplishment.

He was awarded the DuPont Marketing Excellence Award in 1987.

He was once a featured speaker at the International Tape Association meeting in New York City.

He received the Chuck Yeager Aerospace Education Award for providing plane rides for high school students as part of “Young Eagles” education program. (Case received his private pilot’s license and has been a search-and-rescue pilot for the Civil Air Patrol.)

Case traveled to 17 different countries and nearly every major city in every state in the U.S. for his work.

And, just recently, he added “author” to his many achievements, publishing a novel entitled Ladybug.