Drexel University students and faculty were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Nagesh Idupulapati, an assistant research professor in the College of Engineering, when his body was found March 20 in the Schuylkill River.
Idupulapati, 29, joined the University’s faculty only a month ago but showed a promising future in the field as well as a passion for the subject.
A statement released by the University after he was pronounced deceased described how the community was “saddened by the loss of the newly hired faculty member.”
According to CoE Vice Dean Bruce Eisenstein, Idupulapati worked in the Hess Engineering Research Laboratories.
Eisenstein described Idupulapati as a man with “a good background, well accredited and a good lab man. … He had a lot of promise, but none of us will ever know to what extent.”
Idupulapati was initially reported missing March 11 when the Lower Merion police department began an inquiry into his possible whereabouts and discovered Idupulapati’s handwritten suicide note. The following day, police found a Honda Accord registered in his name parked by the Strawberry Mansion Bridge, a historic place in Philadelphia.
“It’s strange … I pass by the Strawberry Mansion Bridge every day on my commute. … I just can’t get it out of my head,” Eisenstein said.
During the afternoon of March 20, a marine unit of the police force found Idupulapati’s body in the Schuylkill River by Black Road and Martin Luther King Drive.
The police used his remains and a washed-up Drexel identification card to identify him.
The police and medical examiners are still unsure of the exact cause of his death. Because his body was found floating, doctors hypothesized his death could be due to an increase in body temperature, which would cause him to float. At the time of printing, nothing has been confirmed.
Despite Idupulapati’s newness and relative anonymity at Drexel, Eisenstein said his passing should leave a strong message behind not only with the student body but for every member of the Drexel community.
“If you are feeling troubled, please, please get help. Go to the counseling service. Talk to friends, department heads, professors, anyone. Don’t try to solve it yourself. … There’s always such heartbreak when tragedies like this occur, so I urge you to seek help if you feel you need it,” he said.
The Drexel community’s thoughts and prayers are with Idupulapati’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.