The Epic Sports Biomechanics team consists of 16 individuals who hold Ph.D.’s, Master’s Degrees, and/or Bachelor’s Degrees in biomedical engineering, biomechanical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomechanics, kinesiology, and human factors. This team also possesses an accomplished athletic background with past and present NCAA athletes in baseball, soccer, and cycling 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).
- Carl Jewell, Ph.D. – Kinesiology Specialist – Carl spent his youth playing basketball, soccer, and running, turning the latter into a foundation for his athletic and academic endeavors post-high school. He competed in middle distance events at the University of Massachusetts Amherst while completing his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Carl then followed this up with a M.S. and a Ph.D. from UMass, applying principles of biomechanics, exercise physiology, and strength and conditioning to better understand the influence of footwear and training history on human performance and injury mechanics. He has worked with amateur, collegiate, and professional athletes across several disciplines and has extensive experience working with industry leaders in athletic innovation. Carl utilizes his experience, both academic and athletic, in targeted approaches to improve sports performance and reduce injury risk in athletes.
- Jacqueline Lewis, Ph.D. – Biomechanics Specialist – Jackie grew up in Colorado playing competitive soccer and running high school cross country, placing 3rd in the State Cross Country Meet as a sophomore. After having two ACL and meniscus surgeries, she went on to play soccer at the University of Kansas. Although her playing career was cut short due to a third knee surgery, the interest in injury biomechanics and performance biomechanics was seeded. She completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanical Engineering at the University of Kansas. She went on to The Ohio State University where she completed her Master’s and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering while working in a motion capture laboratory where she was involved in various projects including performance and functional testing for various Ohio State collegiate teams, athletic injury prevention and rehabilitation, and pre- and post- surgical biomechanical and function. Jackie utilized her experiences and biomechanical knowledge to further develop athletic performance optimization and injury prevention protocols.
- Erik Backstrom, B.S. – Performance Specialist – Erik grew up in Upstate New York as an athlete and diehard sports fan. His first passions were baseball and soccer, both of which he was heavily involved in through high school. He also skis, golfs, and plays squash recreationally. He continued with soccer into college, where he was a goalkeeper for the University of Rochester, and still plays competitively along with being a coach and referee. At U of R, Erik gained his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanics. He has studied specialized subjects like biological viscoelasticity and quantitative physiology that detail the human body and the intricate ways it performs. With a profound interest in sports biomechanics, he has also conducted in-depth research on topics including limb and joint modeling, Tommy John surgery, ACL reconstruction, and bone fracture prevention.
- CJ Gearhart, M.S. – Performance Specialist – CJ graduated from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and the University of Florida with Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Sports Biomechanics. CJ’s research has included the design of an assistive exoskeleton for the human hand, knee prosthetics, and athletic performance optimization through the use of three-dimensional motion capture, force plates, and electromyography. CJ played baseball at the collegiate level as a catcher and was elected to the NJAC All-Academic and All-Conference Teams. During graduate school, CJ continued his passion for baseball and joined the University of Florida Gators Baseball Team as their manager and bullpen catcher to support the coaches and players in baseball related biomechanical assessments. His desire to pursue a career in sports biomechanics comes from a motive to improve athletic performance and baseball mechanics through an application of engineering principles.
- Chris Meacham, B.S. – Performance Specialist – Chris has been bike racing competitively on the track since he was 9 years old. Right out of high school, he became a professional cyclist for Airgas – Safeway based out of San Francisco for 3 years. Chris raced for both collegiate and professional teams during his college education. Throughout his cycling career, he has collected national medals in multiple disciplines of cycling and has raced extensively both nationally and internationally. He recently transitioned to riding for a local developmental cycling program facilitated by Doylestown Bike Works, where he acts as the team captain and continues to race professionally. Chris has been passionate about Human Factors since it was introduced to him at Appalachian State University. He graduated in May of 2018 with a BS in Psychology, and he has been involved with ARCCA Experts perusing Human Factors and Ergonomics through accident reconstruction and cycling related perception-reaction studies.
- 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.
- Nat Ross – Assistant Performance Specialist – Nat is a current student athlete at Cairn University where he plays baseball and is working toward his Business Administration degree. He recognizes the immense value that efficient movement patterns and optimal biomechanics can have on injury prevention and performance optimization as he has gone through his own recovery from an ulnar collateral ligament tear. Nat has an array of experience in the sports optimization industry having trained professionally for his own athletic development. Nat is deeply invested in helping athletes work toward their goals and achieve success.