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.