Born Hendrik Christo Viljoen on 31 August 1937 in Graaff-Reinet, Cape, and studied at the Hoër Volkskool Graaff-Reinet (till 1954), Stellenbosch University (bachelor's, masters and Ph.D. (Ing) degrees in electronic engineering), continuing with studies in England (1960-61).
He began work as an engineer in the Department of Posts and Telegraphs in Pretoria (1962-65), then joined the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch as senior lecturer (1966-69), professor (1970-78), Dean of Engineering (1979-93) and Vice-Rector (Operations) (1993-98).
After retirement he established and was the first Director of the Office for Intellectual Property at Stellenbosch University (1999-2002) and Managing Director of the Unistel Group of Companies. In 2006 he became a member of Stellenbosch University Council. He also pursued his interest in genealogy, becoming a board member of both the Genealogical Institute of South Africa (1998-) and the Huguenot Foundation of South Africa (1998–).
He married to Hana Stehlik and the couple have two daughters, Marenka and Annakie and a son, Francois.
His contribution to South African theatre, film, media and performance
In the media sector he was a member of the SABC Board of Control, as deputy chairman (1987/89); Chairman (1989 - 1993) and member (1993-1994). Thereafter he became a councillor of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (1994 - 1996).
Other appointments include member of Task Group on Film Industry (1987 - 89), Chairman of the Task Group on Broadcasting in South and Southern Africa (1990 - 1991) and author of the Task Group's report, H.C. Viljoen(Chairman), et al: "Report of the Task Group on Broadcasting in South and Southern Africa" (the Government Printer, Pretoria, ISBN 0-621-14191-7, August 1991, 141 pp.), usually referred to as the "Viljoen Report on Broadcasting".
Among his many awards for engineering and other aspects of his career, he received an Award for contribution to cultural development from the Western Cape Minister for Culture and Sport, 2012
Curriculum vitae: Prof H. Christo Viljoen