Carnegie Mellon University

In memoriam: Professor Edmond I Ko 1952 - 2012

Professor Edmond I Ko (1952 - 2012)

B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University

Research Fellow at the Corporate Research Laboratory of Exxon (1975-76)

Guest faculty appointments at the University of California, Berkeley
(1987-88), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (1995), California Institute of Technology (1996) and Tianjin University (since 2002).


Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 1980 - 1998

Vice Provost for Education, 1996 - 1998

Adjunct Professor 1999 -2010


Vice- President (Undergraduate Education), Dean of Students, and Professor(Chair) of Chemistry at City University of Hong Kong

Director of the Center for Engineering Education Innovation and Adjunct Professor of Chemical Engineering at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). 

The following is taken from a newspaper article in the major English language newspaper in Hong Kong by Linda Yeung:

Professor Edmond Ko Inq-ming, 60, a veteran academic and advocate of the new senior secondary curriculum, died at home on Friday, April 20, 2012. The cause of his death remains unknown, although he had been suffering from flu recently. The funeral will be on May 21st at Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point Hong Kong followed later by a memorial service at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology campus either May 25th or 26th.

Ko's sudden death triggered an outpouring of condolences from the government, fellow educators and colleagues. Education minister Michael Suen Ming-yeung called him "a distinguished scholar and an educationist with passion and vision". "He played a pivotal role in promoting excellence in teaching and learning as well as putting in place robust quality assurance mechanisms," Suen said. "He will be remembered for his tremendous contribution to the development of education in Hong Kong as a close friend and partner of the Education Bureau." The Curriculum Development Council, which Ko joined as chairman in 2007, expressed deep sorrow. It commended Ko's commitment to promoting the senior secondary structure launched in 2009 and its associated curriculum. "In the past few years, he played a prominent role in guiding the CDC towards thorough deliberations and in-depth analyses on various curriculum development issues, all of which helped to ensure that curriculum development could cater for students' learning needs and keep abreast of the times," it said. Ko was also senior adviser to the provost at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where he was director of the Centre for Engineering Education Innovation and adjunct professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. He held memberships in a host of educational bodies, including the Quality Assurance Council of the University Grants Committee, the Education Commission, the Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications and the council of the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star in 2010. Ko's education in the United States - where he obtained a PhD in chemical engineering from Stanford University - may have shaped his open, approachable style. His HKUST colleagues commended his willingness to serve as a mentor. In his seven years at City University, during which he served as vice-president for undergraduate education, before joining HKUST, he was known for his concern for students. Once, at a public conference, he called for an end to the barrage of complaints that standards were falling among university graduates. Ko believed in whole-person development and life-long learning. "University education is not to prepare students for a specific job but rather the prospect of career changes in their life," he told the Post in 2003. On the goal of university education, he said: "It will be a total failure if it does not produce responsible citizens who are analytical, have critical thinking and are concerned about what is happening around them." Most in the education community would agree he did his part to help make that ideal a reality.

In another acccount.

Besides being the co-author of over 100 publications and co-inventor of one U.S. patent in the area of surface science and catalysis, Professor Ko was an accomplished educator. He received nine teaching awards in his career, including the William H. and Frances S. Ryan Teaching Award at Carnegie Mellon, the Chemical Manufacturers Association National Catalyst Award, the W. M. Keck Foundation Engineering Teaching Excellence Award, the W. E. Wickenden Award of the American Society for Engineering Education, and the School of Engineering Teaching Award at HKUST. Professor Ko had nine years of academic administrative experience, with the first two at Carnegie Mellon and the last seven at CityU. As the key person charged to improve education at these two institutions, he directed activities in student recruitment and admissions, student development, student residence, curriculum design, quality assurance, and faculty development. He was particularly interested in developing an outcome-based approach to enhance student learning.

Serving as Chairman of the Curriculum Development Council and a member of the Quality Assurance Council of the University Grants Committee, Education Commission, and Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications of the HKSAR Government, Professor Ko was deeply involved in the formulation and implementation of education policies in Hong Kong at all levels. He was also a council member of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications and Hong Kong Institute of Education.

As someone who has spent about half of his life living and working in the US and the other half in Hong Kong, Professor Ko was keenly aware of the importance of being able to work comfortably and effectively across cultures. He created many cross-cultural learning experiences for CityU and HKUST students, including conducting workshops on intercultural communication himself. He also published 7 books and numerous articles on a wide range of educational issues in both English and Chinese since returning to Hong Kong in 1998.