Applied Physics

Our Team

Gianni Martire

Gianni Martire


Gianni Martire is a self-educated physicist, inventor, and Y Combinator tech entrepreneur. He started his first tech startup at the age of 19 and sold his most recent company to Pindrop Security. In his early twenties, Gianni studied finance and served as a founding member on the board of the Bank of New Jersey, overseeing its IPO. With a diverse background spanning over two decades in finance, technology, and entrepreneurship, Gianni brings a unique perspective to the field of applied physics. He is also the co-author of “Introducing Physical Warp Drives,” the first physical warp model in general relativity, and has authored several works on gravitational ranging. As an angel investor in companies such as Flexport, Rippling, Ginkgo Bioworks, Mindbloom, Subspace, and Zenefits, Gianni has the ability to identify valuable intellectual property building Applied Physics’ patent portfolio and driving innovation.

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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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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

Senior Scientist

Christopher Helmerich is a Ph.D. student 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

Senior Scientist

Jared Fuchs is a Ph.D. student 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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Bassem Sabra, Ph.D.

Senior Astrophysicist

Dr. Bassem Sabra is an astrophysicist with a Ph.D. from Ohio University. He specializes in the study of active galactic nuclei, and his research has been widely published in prestigious astrophysics journals. With experience teaching physics and astrophysics courses at every level, Dr. Sabra is a skilled communicator and expert in curriculum development and outcomes assessment. His extensive knowledge and track record make him a valuable asset to any organization seeking to make strides in the field of astrophysics, space sciences, and technology.

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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. He also holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA. David is an inventor on a variety of interdisciplinary patents and a cited scientific author in the fields of solid rocketry, additive manufacturing, and materials engineering. He was honored in 2018 as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30. Prior to 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.