Professor Ho Peng Yoke joined Griffith University in April 1973 as Foundation Professor and Chairman of Australia’s first School of Modern Asian Studies.
He came to the University with an impressive academic record and an international reputation for his work on Chinese mathematics, astronomy, alchemy and materia medica. In his research and teaching, he was also recognised for his scholarship in history, religion, philosophy and literature, especially in relation to the development of Chinese scientific thought.
Professor Ho’s wealth of experience and expertise in Asian Studies was crucial to setting up the new School of Modern Asian Studies at Griffith. He played an instrumental role in designing and implementing the first degree programs in the School – programs which were renowned for their innovation and relevance. As Foundation Professor, his dedication and contribution to academic excellence saw the School develop a national and international reputation.
During his career, Professor Ho’s achievements were recognised by a number of significant honours.He was made a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, London, (1971) and a Fellow of the Academy of Humanities of Australia (1976); he was elected a member of Academica Sinica (1988); and he was appointed an Honorary Professor in the Chinese Academy of Science (1989) (which, at that time, was the highest honour that the People’s Republic of China bestowed upon a foreign scholar).
Following his retirement from Griffith University in 1989, Professor Ho took up a prestigious appointment in England – the Directorship of the Needham Research Institute at Cambridge University.In October 1989, in recognition of Professor Ho’s distinguished contributions to scholarship and to the service of the University, the Griffith University Council conferred on him the title “Professor Emeritus”.