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).
- 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.
- 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.