Our Team

Gianni Martire

Gianni Martire


Gianni Martire is the Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of Applied Physics. As a tech entrepreneur, self-taught physicist, and inventor, Gianni began his career in finance at Merrill Lynch before making a successful transition to the tech industry. He notably sold his Y Combinator-backed startup and has been an Angel investor, fostering the growth of companies like Flexport, Rippling, Cover, Ginkgo Bioworks, Mindbloom, and Zenefits. In 2019, Gianni fully dedicated himself to physics with a focus on leveraging scientific advancements for societal benefit. He co-authored a seminal article in 2021 titled “Introducing Physical Warp Drives” with Dr. Alexey Bobrick. This paper made important contributions to general relativity, introducing the first physical warp drive model within this framework. Their work significantly contributed to the establishment of Warp Field Mechanics as a field of study.

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Alexey Bobrick, Ph.D.

Chief Science Officer

Dr. Alexey Bobrick is an astrophysicist and theoretical physicist who, along with Gianni Martire, developed the pioneering framework for physical warp drives and established the field of physical Warp Field Mechanics. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Lund University and a silver medal in the International Physics Olympiad. Alexey excels in creating physical models for complex real-world systems and was the founding scientist of the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory (APL) at Applied Physics. He has authored more than 20 publications and two books, establishing himself as a leading figure in the field of applied physics, and has made significant contributions to our understanding of the universe. 

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Christine Mikolajuk

Ethics Officer

Christine Mikolajuk directs the ethics board at Applied Physics, ensuring that its pioneering science contributes positively to society. An expert in financial services, business ethics, and regulation, she currently serves as the Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for the London management team at BNY Mellon. Christine began her career at the Boston Consulting Group, followed by positions at State Street Bank and Trust, and has held roles in business intelligence and private equity research. Her publications explore topics such as CEO agency and responsibility, and she is an active advocate for US immigration reform. Christine is an honors graduate of Harvard College, holds a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford, and has recently embraced motherhood.

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Edward Rietman, Ph.D.

Director of Research

Dr. Edward Rietman holds a Ph.D. and multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees in sciences, including physics, chemistry, materials science, bioinformatics, and philosophy. He has 18 years of experience at Bell Labs, where he made significant contributions to solid-state electrolytes, high-Tc superconductivity, neuromorphic hardware, and computer-integrated manufacturing. Dr. Rietman continues to excel in his research, working at esteemed institutions such as the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he is affiliated with the BINDS Lab. He is a prolific author, with six books, over 200 research papers, and over 30 patents, and is recognized for his work in molecular systems biology of human diseases, hyper-computational systems, and quantum phenomena.

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Matthew C. Ellis, Ph.D.

Director of Applied Engineering

Dr. Matthew Ellis is a U.S. Army Veteran and holds a Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from Florida State University. After six years as an infantryman, he pursued his various degrees and had the opportunity to work at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. He then went on to work at Lockheed Martin Space before moving over to SpaceX, where he supports the development of new reliability and quality programs for Launch and Recovery on Falcon 9 and Starship programs. Matt brings an engineering and project management perspective to Applied Physics, ensuring that our patents meet the highest standards of science.

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Luke Sellers

Lead Scientist

Luke is a Ph.D. student in physics at UCLA specializing in theoretical astroparticle physics and cosmology. He graduated from UCSB with high academic honors and then deferred his enrollment at UCLA to become a founding member of the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory (APL) at Applied Physics. With a focus on theoretical and computational research in astrophysics, particle physics, and gravitational physics, Luke has made significant contributions to our understanding of the universe’s most extreme systems. He currently leads the study on “Searching for Intelligent Life in Gravitational Wave Signals” developing new mathematical models for gravitational ranging. Luke is also an excellent teacher and communicator, and he has been nominated for several teaching awards at both UCSB and UCLA. 

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Brandon Melcher, Ph.D.

Lead Scientist & Ethics Observer

Dr. Brandon Melcher earned his Ph.D. in theoretical cosmology from Syracuse University, where he focused on the production of dark matter and its cosmological implications. During his graduate studies, he developed additional interests in the intersection of science and public policy and co-founded the Graduate Science Policy group with fellow graduate students. After completing a brief post-doctoral research stint at Northeastern University, he joined the Applied Physics team to continue his research on warp drives. He also serves as an Ethics Observer, ensuring that all research and patents meet the highest ethical standards as Applied Physics continues to announce new discoveries.

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Christopher Helmerich, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Dr. Helmerich earned his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where his research focusses on the measurement of gamma–rays from thunderstorms. In addition to his instrument-based research, he has gained extensive experience in software testing and verification during his internships at NASA, Jacobs, and ExoAnalytic Solutions, where he developed tools in Python to automate analysis and anomaly detection for flight software tests. Christopher has also refined and implemented image-based machine-learning algorithms for satellite classification in Java and Python. He is passionate about the intersection of engineering, physics, and software. His current focus at the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory at Applied Physics is on the development of Warp Factory, a numerical toolkit for warp research.

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Jared Fuchs, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Dr. Fuchs earned his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a focus on high-energy instrumentation and astrophysics. He has experience in project management, simulation development, and systems engineering, having worked on many SmallSat projects. Jared served for several years as the program manager for the Alabama CubeSat Initiative, helping to form the initiative and lead several flight proposals and educational programs with its partnered universities across the state of Alabama. His current focus at the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory at Applied Physics is on the development of Warp Factory, a numerical toolkit for warp research.

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David Wirth, Ph.D.

Electromagnetics & Nanotechnology Specialist

Dr. David Wirth is a U.S. Air Force veteran who earned his Ph.D. in nano-scale engineering of materials at UCSD, and he also holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA. David is an inventor listed on a variety of interdisciplinary patents and a cited scientific author in the fields of solid rocketry, additive manufacturing, and materials engineering. In 2018, he was listed on Forbes’ 30 under 30 in the field of manufacturing. Before his doctoral studies, David served as a commissioned officer at the Air Force Research Lab and founded the successful venture-backed startup, Fabric8Labs. He is the co-founder of Arcflash Labs, where he leads the development of novel high-energy pulsed power supplies for defense and aerospace applications. With a proven track record of success in ambitious research and development projects across various fields, David’s work has been featured in numerous publications and media outlets.

And more…