Each year David Rhodes (pictured) takes the cream of Leeds electronics graduates to run various bits of his multimillion-pound empire. In fact, Filtronic plc grew out of Leeds University, where former graduate Professor Rhodes is still a part-time member of staff.
His staff now total more than 2,500 across the UK, Finland and Austria, where they manufacture high-frequency electronics products for the communications and electronic warfare industries.
Rhodes maintains close links with Leeds and Bradford Universities and some European universities and is now helping young electronics graduates to follow in his footsteps by sponsoring their studies, providing Pounds 1,000 bursaries and guaranteed vacation work.
Two new engineering programmes, the MEng and BEng in analysis and business communications IT, were developed jointly by the school of electronic and electrical engineering and Filtronic. The company also runs an in-house MSc course.