Published: June 25, 2019

Karl LindenProfessor Karl Linden was awarded the 2019 Dr. Pankaj Parekh Research Innovation Award from the Water Research Foundation at the American Water Works Association Annual Conference in Denver on June 19. 

The award honors one researcher each year who has made significant contributions to advancing the science of water. Awardees must have conducted Water Research Foundation-sponsored research that led to a breakthrough in the water industry. 

Linden is a professor of environmental engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering and an associate director in the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering. He has been an active WRF researcher for over 20 years. He has served as a principal investigator on numerous WRF research projects, served as a member of the Project Advisory Committee on a diverse array of topics, and has demonstrated research innovation to aid and protect public health. 

Linden’s most recent success with the Water Research Foundation includes his leadership on a research team that developed action spectra for UV inactivation of cryptosporidium and other pathogens, leading to improved confidence and use of UV technologies in water treatment. Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that results in cryptosporidiosis, a diarrheal disease, caused by drinking or bathing in contaminated water. Linden received the Research Innovation Award as a result of his dedication to improving water science related to public health. 

“Winning this award is a recognition of the creative students, academic and industry partners I’ve been lucky to have worked with, and the innovative research we’ve done together—a lot of it thanks to support from The Water Research Foundation,” Linden said. “Having the award named after Dr. Parekh is very meaningful to me because I had the chance to meet and work with him on one of my WRF UV research projects. Receiving this award is a real honor.”

Pankaj Parekh devoted his career to safe drinking water and the betterment of public health. He began his career and research spending 13 years in Africa assessing a variety of drinking water challenges. After his time in Africa, Parekh spent 28 years with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) as manager of water quality regulatory affairs and director of water quality. 

Congratulations to Linden for embodying WRF and CU Boulder’s commitment to advancing water science, engineering and public health, specifically through water and wastewater treatment.