Wen Ko

Obituary of Wen Ko

Professor Wen Hsiung Ko died on Monday, December 4, 2017 in Palo Alto, CA. He passed peacefully after spending his last days with his beloved wife of 60 years, Christina, and all four of his children.

Prof. Ko was Professor Emeritus at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) department. He had an incredibly productive professional life over 60 years, and made many contributions to the fields of biomedical and electrical engineering. He was a pioneer in micro-sensors, actuators, integrated microsystems, medical implants, telemetry and packaging. 

He was a prolific researcher having published approximately 150 journal papers, nearly 300 conference papers, and he accrued 26 patents. Among his many accomplishments include his founding of the Transducers Research Foundation and the Hilton Head Workshop series. Additionally, Prof. Ko was the recipient of many awards, including the career achievement award at the Transducers international conference and the Case Alumni Association's Meritorious Service Award. He advised approximately160 MS and PhD students at CWRU.

Prof. Ko’s career started at CWRU (then known as Case Institute of Technology) where he received his MS in 1956 and PhD in 1959. He went on to work at CWRU for nearly 60 years, establishing and leading the Electronics Design Center and retiring in 1993.

Prof. Ko was born in Fujian, China, in 1923, the 3rd son of five children. He grew up in Fujian and Yunnan Provinces, the latter where his father served in the Imperial government. He moved from mainland China to Taipei, Taiwan in the late 1940’s. Prof. Ko came to the US in 1954. He and Christina married in 1957 and lived in Cleveland for many years where they were leaders in the Cleveland Chinese community. He and Christina moved to Palo Alto in 2014.

Prof. Ko is survived by his wife, Christina, his four children (Kathy Ko Chin, Janet Ko, Linda Ko-Ferrigno and Alex Ko) and 6 grandchildren. Memorial services will be held on January 20, 2018 at 10am at Spangler Mortuaries, 399 S San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA 94022 and January 27 or 28, 2018 at Case Western Reserve University (details to be confirmed). In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that donations be made to the Wen H. Ko Fellowship at Case Western Reserve University, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Case School of Engineering, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Glennan 321, Cleveland, OH 44106-7071, USA. http://bit.ly/2j2kWXf