WRF Honors Top Researcher and Utilities with Awards

Sep 4, 2020

The Water Research Foundation (WRF) announced that it has awarded the 2020 Dr. Pankaj Parekh Research Innovation Award to Dr. David Cornwell, President of Cornwell Engineering Group; and the 2020 Outstanding Subscriber Awards for Applied Research to Hampton Roads Sanitation District and Metro Vancouver. The award recipients were honored during WRF’s virtual event, “A Toast to Our Subscribers.”

The Dr. Pankaj Parekh Research Innovation Award honors researchers who have advanced the science of water through WRF-sponsored projects. The award is named after Dr. Parekh, who dedicated his life to ensuring safe water and protecting public health. WRF’s Outstanding Subscriber Award for Applied Research honors subscribing utilities that have successfully applied WRF research to make notable improvements to their water treatment, delivery, and/or management processes.

“The Water Research Foundation has been enriched by individuals and utilities like those honored today,” said Peter Grevatt, Chief Executive Officer of WRF. “Dr. Cornwell and the professionals at Hampton Roads Sanitation District and Metro Vancouver have been instrumental in helping us support the water community through the advancement of sound science.”

Dr. Cornwell has served as a Principal Investigator on over 25 WRF research projects, focused on topics including filtration, residuals management, coagulant optimization, and more. More recently, he has led several projects on lead and copper control. Dr. Cornwell’s impressive body of work provides valuable insight and knowledge that can be applied by utilities to protect public health.

“To be recognized by my peers and the Foundation is really a great honor. I’ve spent so much of my career involved with WRF,” said Dr. Cornwell. “In my 45 years working in the water sector, I believe I’ve been involved in a WRF project during 40 of those years.”

Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) provides regional wastewater treatment to 18 cities and counties in southeast Virginia, operating 13 treatment plants with a combined capacity of 249 million gallons per day. HRSD is recognized as a leader in the industry. SWIFT (the Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow) is HRSD's newest water treatment innovation, designed to further protect the region’s environment and enhance the sustainability of the region’s long-term groundwater.

Dr. Charles Bott, Director of Water Technology and Research at HRSD, stated “This is an important award for us. We have been heavily involved in WRF’s research over the years because we value the work that the Foundation is doing. This award acknowledges that we have been an important contributor to research benefiting the water sector.”

Metro Vancouver provides water and liquid waste services through its member municipalities for 2.6 million residents in Southwestern British Columbia, Canada. This includes acquiring, treating, and delivering water, as well as collecting and treating wastewater on behalf of its municipalities. Since 2002, Metro Vancouver has put sustainability at the center of its planning and operating philosophy and advanced its role as a leader in the pursuit of a low-carbon future for the region.

“Having WRF recognize Metro Vancouver is a real honor and it validates that we are going in the right direction,” said Paul Kadota, Program Manager at Metro Vancouver. “We’re continually striving to improve our operations in the provision of quality drinking water and wastewater services, and we thank the WRF team for this vote of confidence.”