STUDENTS at Huddersfield University are set to benefit from using the latest computer control equipment - thanks to a chance meeting between a former student and his lecturer.
Adam Silver took a degree course in computer studies at the then Huddersfield Polytechnic from 1984 to 1987.
Now he is a vice-president with ZiLOG, a major manufacturer of microcontrollers for the computer industry and one of the foremost technology firms in California's Silicon Valley.
The microcontrollers are effectively mini-computers - the "brains" inside devices ranging from electrical toothbrushes and TV remote controls to manufacturing equipment and spacecraft instruments.
On a visit to see friends in Huddersfield last month, Mr Silver called at the university and ran into his old lecturer, Dr Adrian Jackson, who now heads the computing and maths department.
As well as sharing memories from 17 years ago, Mr Silver agreed to donate 40 microcontroller kits for Huddersfield University students to use.
Now he hopes to build further links between his company and the university - possibly by setting up internships to allow students at Huddersfield to work in Silicon Valley and get first-hand experience.
Adam said: "Huddersfield was one of the leading computing and electrical engineering schools in the UK. It's good to see that it still has a very impressive facility."
He said: "Helping out the school is something that ZiLOG is very happy to do - and something on which we can build to give tomorrow's high-tech engineers every advantage."
Dr Jackson said: "We're delighted with the donation of ZiLOG microcontrollers. They will prove invaluable to our students working on design projects."
Mr Silver, who hails from London, made another trip to Huddersfield last week to speak to students about the information technology industry.
His talk came midway through a hectic round of business meetings taking him to Germany, Austria, Holland and Japan.
Mr Silver is in charge of ZiLOG's consumer solutions business, developing and producing universal remote controls which allow customers to use a single device to control their TVs, videos and other electronic equipment.
He has also held senior posts with other technology companies, developing products for digital TV set-top boxes and devices for use in engineering, home computers and broadband internet.
He said: "I enjoyed my years in Huddersfield immensely - not so much for the academic side of things, but because it was such a great community."
A keen biker, he recalled visits to the Earnshaws motorcycle showroom at Manchester Road, Longroyd Bridge, and his student digs across the road at Fenton Square.
But he added: "I've lost touch with a lot of the people I knew in Huddersfield. It would be nice to know what they're doing now."
Mr Silver can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org