BOSTON — The Water Research Foundation (WRF) announced the renaming of its Research Innovation Award in honor of Dr. Pankaj Parekh, a tireless advocate for ensuring safe drinking water to protect public health, according to a press release.

The winners of the newly named Dr. Pankaj Parekh Research Innovation Award, as well as two Outstanding Subscriber Awards for Applied Research, were honored during WRF’s annual subscriber breakfast at the American Water Works Association’s annual conference, ACE14.

Dr. Parekh dedicated 28 years to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), serving in various roles including the manager of Water Quality Regulatory Affairs for 10 years and the director of Water Quality for 14 years. Prior to his service with the LADWP, Dr. Parekh spent 13 years working to improve public health by addressing a variety of environmental and drinking water challenges in Africa.

In 2011 Dr. Parekh was badly injured in a motorcycle accident on his way to work. He fought with incredible determination to overcome his injuries and was eventually able to return to work at LADWP; however in January 2014 he succumbed to injuries sustained in the motorcycle accident and passed away. He is survived by his wife, Anne and her two children.

This year the Dr. Pankaj Parekh Research Innovation Award, which honors researchers and research teams who have made significant contributions to advancing the science of water through Foundation-sponsored research, was presented to Issam N. Najm, Ph.D., P.E. president of Water Quality & Treatment Solutions Inc. in Los Angeles, Calif.