G.V. Loganathan was born in the southern Indian city of Chennai and had been a civil and environmental engineering professor at Virginia Tech since 1982.
Loganathan, 51, had won several awards for excellence in teaching, had served on the faculty senate and was an adviser to about 75 undergraduate students.
His brother, G-V Palanivel, told the ND-TV news channel in India that "We all feel like we have had an electric shock. We do not know what to do."
He says his brother "has been a driving force for all of us, the guiding force."