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Alumni-Investing in the Future

July 12, 2010 -

Bruce Pivic (B.S. electrical engineering 1984) and his wife Carla Pivic (B.S. accounting 1982), owners of Infinity Power & Controls, Rock Springs, Wyoming, helped the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering establish an Industrial Control Laboratory. Their gracious gift allowed development of this unique laboratory facility which significantly enhances the educational program in industrial controls. Expertise in the design of programmable logic controller (PLC) based industrial control systems is especially vital to the energy, minerals, and other industries of Wyoming. With thoughts of the excellent education Bruce received at the University of Wyoming, Bruce and Carla stressed the importance of helping other students succeed. The lab, to honor the memory of the late Professor Beach who taught for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering through 1984, is located in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and “is a great way to honor an excellent educator, as well as meet the needs of future generations,” says Bruce.

Professor Beach was a native of Lusk, WY, and received a degree in electrical engineering from UW in 1940. His graduate work was completed at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and he worked for Curtis Wright Aircraft Co. during World War II. Following the War he returned to Wyoming to teach in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He was also a past president of the Wyoming Engineering Society. Over the years Professor Beach and his wife, Charlene, have continued to support the College by making generous contributions to the R. Kenneth Beach Scholarship, which was established upon his retirement from UW, with contributions made by alumni, students and faculty from the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

In his senior year, Bruce Pivic came to UW from Western Wyoming Community College where he was studying music. With a deep seated interest in electrical controls he switched to engineering upon entering UW. Struggling with a 1.73 GPA, he shared that he was actually suspended from his studies at UW. His fiancé Carla was awaiting a wedding date, and was concerned that if Bruce did not return to UW, they may not get married. So, with more than a little encouragement from Carla, he petitioned to get back into UW and made the promise to his Advisor and Professor John Steadman, that he would work hard and pass all his classes if given a chance. With a second chance, a will to succeed, and guidance from Professor Beach, Bruce lived up to his promise and obtained a B.S. in electrical engineering from UW in 1984.

“The last day of finals, I walked into class and sat down with a small cooler next to me. Although I didn’t have to take the final, I remained in the room until all the students were finished,” says Bruce. “I then locked the door and pulled out a bottle of Champagne and 8 glasses (there were 7 students in the class) and said “cheers to the last class, taught by a great man.” It was important that I let Professor Beach know how much he was appreciated,” says Bruce. “Professor Beach saved my life.”

A background working as a mine electrician with Black Butte Coal in Point of Rocks Wyoming, , working holidays, spring breaks, and every other opportunity during school, helped Bruce land a job as a project engineer following graduation. Continuing to advance his career, he worked on a coal project in China, and later as a power systems project engineer. He relocated to be a power engineer with Allied Chemical (now General Chemical) for 15 years. With his automation specialty, he branched out on his own, starting Infinity Power and Controls, in 1998.

A thriving company of 44 employees, Infinity Power and Controls (IPC) writes code for paint booths for Ford and Basic Food Flavors, who makes the flavor packs for Top Ramen Noodles. Conscious of the growing environmental problems, the company is helping provide products and business to several water treatment plants around the State of Wyoming. Presently IPC is busy with their new patented environmental products for oil productions with VOC and BETX Flares. The company is a generous supporter of UW programs through gifts inkind.

Milward Simpson Society members of the UW Cowboy Joe Club, generous supporters of UW Athletics, and big Cowboy fans, they share their pride in Wyoming by promotion of their new hot air balloon which proudly displays UW’s logo. Both Bruce and Carla are extremely dedicated to supporting higher education and have offered several scholarships to students attending UW and Western Wyoming Community College. Bruce and Carla have two children. Their son Jeff works for the UW Athletics Department and their daughter Jillian is pursuing a bachelors in Music at UW.

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