The Epic Sports Biomechanics team consists of human movement professionals with Ph.D.’s, Master’s Degrees, and/or Bachelor’s Degrees in biomedical engineering, biomechanical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomechanics, kinesiology, biology, and human factors. These professionals also have accomplished athletic and coaching backgrounds with past and present NCAA athletes in basketball, baseball, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and rowing amongst others.

David L. Gushue, Ph.D.

Founder & Director

As Founder and Director of Epic Sports Biomechanics, his passion is to combine biomedical engineering and science with elite technology to optimize human movement and sports performance. His vision was to create a world-class biomechanical research laboratory and sports performance environment that combines science with the unique attributes of the athlete. Dr. Gushue leverages his extensive training and experience in biomechanics and 3-D motion analyses for assessments of athletic performance and injury risk factors associated with sport-specific movements. Dr. Gushue has served as a biomechanical consultant for various professional sports organizations, including the National Hockey League (NHL) and Major League Baseball (MLB). Dr. Gushue earned a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Rochester and a B.S. in Bioengineering with a minor in Neuroscience at Syracuse University.

Ronald J. Fijalkowski, Ph.D.

Director of Sports Biomechanics

Ron graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering. He then attended a joint program between the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University graduating with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. Ron utilizes his training and education to reduce the risk of injury to athletes while optimizing performance. He has lead various full-scale research projects specifically focused on human injury causation and recognizes the value in efficient movement patterns. He has served as a consultant for numerous organizations including the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), and the United States Department of Defense. Ron has been an athletics enthusiast his entire life competing in various sports from baseball and soccer to basketball and swimming. Ron also competed collegiately in baseball as a 4-year varsity member at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).

Erik Backstrom, B.S.

Performance Specialist

Erik graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanics. He has studied specialized subjects like biological viscoelasticity that detail the human body and the intricate ways it performs. He has conducted in-depth research on topics including limb and joint modeling, Tommy John surgery, ACL and knee reconstruction, and bone fractures. He has a profound interest in 3-D motion capture and has performed significant analyses with a key focus on injury prevention. Erik is a former baseball pitcher and collegiate soccer player, and is currently an NCAA soccer referee. As a lifelong athlete, Erik cherishes the opportunity to combine his love of sports and his passion for engineering into helping other athletes achieve their goals.

female athlete training with biometric cameras

Melissa Ruf, M.S.

Performance Specialist

Melissa graduated from Saint Joseph’s University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and completed her MBA in Business Intelligence and Analytics. Melissa has been a competitive softball player for over 20 years and played collegiately at the NCAA Division I level. She has also directed her own independent research collecting in-game data to investigate bat discipline patterns, pitch locations, and at-bat durations. Melissa is focused on continuing her research efforts to optimize athletic performance and reduce injury risk.

electromyography equipment

Amanda Stone, Ph.D.


Amanda received her B.S. in Bioengineering and Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Oregon State University and the University of Florida, respectively. She has been involved in athletics, performance evaluation, and injury prevention for over a decade. She has conducted numerous studies evaluating injury risk in young athletes, including ACL injuries, and prescribed safe biomechanics for injury prevention. Furthermore, she has studied elements that affect athletic performance, such as visual and proprioceptive feedback processing. Amanda’s personal experience in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse provide a practical foundation for conducting biomechanical evaluations and offering performance improvement recommendations.

kinesthetic analysis of kicking a soccer ball

Aubrey Kelbaugh, M.S.


Aubrey received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Temple University. She then continued her education at Drexel University, where she received her master’s degree in biomedical engineering with a focus in biomechanics. After sustaining a track related injury in high school, which resulted in surgery, she developed an interest in sports injury prevention. She now enjoys long distance hiking and is an avid Peloton cyclist.

Carl Jewel, Ph.D.


Carl completed all of his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he obtained a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Kinesiology. As a senior member of the Biomechanics Laboratory, he utilized 3-D motion capture, force platforms, accelerometers, and electromyography to study the movements of athletes and the muscle responses and activation strategies required to generate the forces for those movements. Carl has worked with recreational, collegiate, and elite-level athletes across several disciplines including soccer, field hockey, golf, and running. He has served as a researcher and consultant for the National Hockey League (NHL), US Department of Defense, Footjoy/Titleist (Acushnet), Brooks Running, and New Balance. Carl competed as a Division 1 middle distance runner during his undergraduate at UMass, and is an avid golfer.

motion analysis of baseball pitch

Caryn Urbanczyk, Ph.D.


Caryn earned a Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Imperial College London, an M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University and a B.Sc. in Bioengineering at University of California, San Diego. With a concentration in orthopedic biomechanics, she has led sports performance research in 3-D motion analysis, used musculoskeletal modelling to optimize athletic performance, and developed diagnostic imaging tools to reduce injury risk. Caryn is a competitive masters’ level rower and competed 4-years in NCAA collegiate rowing. She has served as a rowing coach at collegiate and junior levels, and as a consultant for national organizations including British Rowing.

Jacqueline Lewis Devine, Ph.D.


Jackie graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a concentration in biomechanical engineering. She worked in a laboratory investigating knee ligament injuries while at Kansas, after having sustained multiple ACL tears herself and had a personal interest in the topic. She then went on to The Ohio State University and graduated with a Master’s and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. She participated and lead multiple projects investigating human movement patterns in both athletic and various pathology populations utilizing motion capture technology, with goals of injury prevention and injury rehabilitation. Jackie has also played soccer for the University of Kansas, was a multi-year All-State cross-country runner in high school, and has continued to participate in various triathlon, cycling, and running competitions.

baseball and softball training facility

Joe Geissler, Ph.D.


Joe earned his Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering through a joint program between the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Joe combines his educational background with his passion for sports to improve athletic performance and reduce the risk of player injuries. Joe has a deep understanding of sports technology that promotes a thorough assessment of an athlete’s baseline performance, efficient program design, and well-rounded evaluation of sport-specific measurables.

professional basketball player dunking ball

Maura McCartney, M.S.


Maura earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester and a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Tech. She was a graduate research assistant within the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab, which focuses on understanding and reducing head injury in sports and other applications. Her research focused on evaluating occupational head injury protection, as well as understanding head impact exposure and eye tracking as a clinical measure in athletes. As an undergraduate, she participated in research that evaluated treadmill running patterns using motion capture data collection and analysis and explored ways to apply motion capture analysis techniques to developing more cost-effective and accessible video-based sports performance analyses. Maura has been an athletics enthusiast her whole life, competing in basketball and soccer, and is passionate about applying her knowledge of biomechanics to reducing injuries and optimizing sports performances.

Meghan Zech, B.S.


Meghan started golfing at the age of 6 and competitively at the age of 10. Throughout her youth, she competed in state and nation-wide golf tournaments, and still plays in adult women’s competitions. Meghan started the Women’s Club Golf Team at Marquette University, which participates in tournaments throughout the Midwest. She graduated from Marquette with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering, with an emphasis in Biomechanics. While participating in sports biomechanics labs that worked with the Milwaukee Brewers, Meghan began fostering a passionate connection between her engineering studies and her lifelong involvement in sports, especially golf.