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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

The Passing of a Student

From the President's Desk

To: The Rensselaer Community
Re: The Passing of a Student

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Andre Gianesini Odu, a doctoral student in Mathematics, who lost his life in a single-car crash in Nevada on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Andre was driving from Rensselaer to California to begin an internship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on April 30, 2019.

Andre earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, in 2016. He earned his Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics at Rensselaer in 2017. He was involved in the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the American Physical Society.

In his research, Andre sought to extend our fundamental understanding of non-linear features and turbulent structure tied to plasma wave-particle interaction, leveraging the results to optimize experimental platforms for high-yield fusion and wakefield electron acceleration.

Andre completed an internship in aerothermodynamics at the NASA Langley Research Center, and in unmanned aircraft systems at FlyValue Srl in Verona, Italy. From 2014 to 2016, he served as host and speaker for the annual Harlem Globetrotter Italian tour. 

Andre’s faculty describe him as “a singularly motivated student, and his death is a loss for us all.”

Counseling and grief services are available for students through the Rensselaer Counseling Center. An appointment can be made by visiting the Student Health Center, Academy Hall room 3200, or by calling (518) 276-6479. Faculty and staff seeking counseling and grief support may contact the Employee Assistance Program by calling (518) 465-3813.

In addition, chaplains are available to provide grief counseling and support for anyone in the Rensselaer community. To make an appointment with a chaplain, you may visit the Religious Affairs office, Rensselaer Union room 3514, or call (518) 276-6518.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Andre’s family, fellow students, friends, and teachers. We are all saddened by the loss of one of our own. Please support each other during this difficult time.