The Company

Applied Levitation LLC has its origins in Magtube Inc. where our permanent magnet levitation technology was initially developed and tested on a full-scale prototype capsule. Since then we have expanded our research and changed the name of the company to reflect the departure from a focus on underground freight transport. With funding from our partners LaunchPoint Technologies Inc. and Fastransit Inc. we have just finished the proof-of-concept phase of our electromagnetic stabilization technology which will allow vehicles to levitate above a magnetic track without the need for side rails to control lateral position. We are currently seeking investment partners to help us with the third and final phase of our technology development: a full-scale vehicle and demonstration track.

Jim Fiske, CEO

Jim Fiske

Jim Fiske entered the maglev technology field twelve years ago, and founded Magtube, Inc. in 2000. Prior to that, he was co-founder and VP of Advanced Development at Quad Design Technology, a provider of leading-edge computer-assisted engineering software; a principal architect of a mini-supercomputer designed to exploit ultra-high-speed gallium arsenide integrated circuits at Vitesse Electronics; and the technical director and lead designer of high performance digital signal processing systems at Hughes Aircraft Company. He holds 6 patents. Currently, Mr. Fiske is adapting maglev technology to high capacity electrical energy storage and space launch systems, as well as transportation. He received his Electrical Engineering and Computer Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978.

Dr. Brad Paden, CTO/Director


Dr. Paden received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley in 1985 and is currently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara with a joint appointment in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He was the recipient of the 2001 IEEE Control Systems Society Technology Award and the 1993 Best Paper Award from the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control. Dr. Paden is a Fellow of the IEEE.

Brad has over 80 publications and 17 patents in the area of control and electromechanical systems. His research interests focus on nonlinear control theory and its application to electromechanical systems. Dr. Paden has consulted for industry on the design and control of magnetic bearings, and has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Robotic Systems. He was the lead electromechanical designer on a number of LaunchPoint projects including the StreamLiner mag-lev artificial heart.

Mike Ricci, Systems Engineer

Mike Ricci

Mike Ricci joined Launchpoint Technologies in 2001 to work on the Magtube project. He was the project engineer and led the technical team through 2001 and 2002 when many of the key SPM technologies were first developed. Mike managed the design, fabrication, and testing of a full-scale SPM prototype vehicle and track section. He was also responsible for the initial system design, dynamic analysis, and concept controller design for the SPM suspension system. Mike is presently splitting his time as the systems engineer for Launchpoint's maglev heart pump project, the Power Ring energy storage flywheel project, and the SPM levitation technology.

Prior to LaunchPoint, Mike worked as a mechanical engineer with Spectra F/X, a theme park engineering company, where he was Project Engineer on several very large custom systems with high cycle rates, intimate man-machine interfaces, and high human-safety concerns. Mike received a MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from UCSB (1993), specializing in control systems, and a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Caltech (1991), with a focus on electromechanical engineering and control systems. Mike is a licensed professional engineer (P.E.) in mechanical engineering.

Geoff Long, Project Engineer


Since joining LaunchPoint in early 2008, Geoff Long has demonstrated his product development skills by taking a maglev vehicle from concept through the development of a working small-scale prototype. Prior to coming to LaunchPoint, Geoff led several teams of multi-disciplined engineers through the product development process at Raytheon Company in El Segundo, California. Prior to working at Raytheon, Geoff developed novel mobile robots at the University of Michigan Mobile Robotics Lab and consumer products at Acorn Product Development.

Geoff's experience spans the areas of electro-optical systems, multi-axis gimbals, high bandwidth line-of-sight stabilization mechanisms, reactionless mechanisms, fast optical element switching mechanisms and large deflection flexures. Geoff has worked on everything from spacecraft sensors to consumer products to military fire control systems of light armor vehicles. Geoff has been granted one US patent and has several patents pending. Geoff received a MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2000 and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997.


Applied Levitation to present
at Maglev 2008 Conference
Dec. 15-18, San Diego.
Read conference papers

Discovery Channel films
scale-model maglev

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