Andrew O. Brightman

Andrew O. Brightman is Professor of Engineering Practice in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.A. Professor Brightman attended North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, where he received the B.S. degree in Botany and Plant Physiology. He then attended Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, and received the Ph.D. degree in Cell Biology and Biochemistry.  Upon completion of his doctoral studies, Professor Brightman completed two post-doctoral fellowships in Medicinal Chemistry, at Purdue University, and in Cancer Biotechnology, at Eli Lilly & Co, Indianapolis, Indiana. Professor Brightman then joined the Hillenbrand Biomedical Engineering Center as a Senior Research Scientist in Tissue Engineering where he contributed to the research and development of the tissue engineered small intestinal submucosa (SIS) technology.  Professor Brightman also has worked as an independent consultant for several medical technology companies. Through these professional experiences, education and research background in analysis of signaling biomolecules and tissue engineering, Professor Brightman has gained knowledge about biomedical technology innovation and translation and built a foundation from which he is able to contribute to engineering design, regulatory affairs, and ethical practice.  For 15 years Professor Brightman served as the Assistant Head for Academic Affairs in the Weldon School overseeing the development and administration of all undergraduate and graduate programs for the School.  Professor Brightman has also been part of a multidisciplinary research team using design-thinking to better understand the intersections and challenges of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion within professional formation for engineers.

As the Assistant Head for Academic Affairs for the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Professor Brightman oversaw the development of both the undergraduate and the graduate curricula and participated in the design and teaching of many of the core courses. Within his 15 years of administrative experience at Purdue he served as chair of both of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum committees and he developed numerous undergraduate and graduate courses in biomedical engineering.  In addition, Professor Brightman initiated the development of the curriculum for the Professional MS BME degree with a concentration in regulatory affairs for medical devices. The concentration includes three courses covering the key aspects involved with pre-clinical and clinical studies, regulatory approvals, and regulatory compliance. Each of these courses were developed and are taught in partnership with industry colleagues for real-world relevance and impact.

Professor Brightman has been doing educational research in engineering since 2012 when he assembled a multidisciplinary team from Engineering Education, Materials Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Philosophy, and Communication that gained NSF funding to investigate a new pedagogy for training engineering students in ethical reasoning. The team developed and evaluated a hybrid course delivery model (in-class and on-line pedagogy) that involves a scaffolded, integrated, reflective analysis (SIRA) of historical and recent cases dealing with emerging technologies.  This pedagogy is based on Reflexive Principlism (RP), an ethical reasoning framework developed for engineers by Brightman and his colleague in Philosophy, Jonathan Beever. Professor Brightman also developed and has co-taught for 15 years with an engineering alumnus from the medical device industry, a graduate–level course in Biomedical Engineering Ethics, which uses RP and the SIRA pedagogical approach to analyzing ethical issues in the design, development, and deployment of medical technologies.

Currently Professor Brightman is studying the ethical experiences of practicing engineers in the health products industry and ethical and responsible conduct of research in Biomedical Engineering.   Professor Brightman was recently appointed an inaugural Fellow of the Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science and is developing a Community of Practice around Ethics Education in Biomedical Engineering to develop and disseminate best practices for ethics training for the field of Biomedical Engineering.

Currently, Professor Brightman also serves as the Purdue representative on the Bioethics and Subjects Advocacy Program (BSAP) of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. BSAP is run by the Center for Bioethics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN.

Professor Brightman also serves as co-director of the Scholarly Concentration in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Medical Technologies administered jointly with the Indiana University School of Medicine and as a co-Director of the Bottorff Fellows program as part of the Engineering Medicine Initiative in the Purdue College of Engineering.  Professor Brightman has been awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Purdue College of Engineering.  

Research Interests

  • Tissue Engineering - Extracellular Matrix Signaling Molecules
  • Chronic Stress and Health Impact
  • Ethics Pedagogy in Engineering
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Professional Formation in Engineering
  • Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research in Biomedical Engineering
  • Ethical Engineering of Medical Technologies



Urinary bladder submucosa derived tissue graft
SF Badylak, SL Voytik, A Brightman, M Waninger - US Patent 5,554,389, 1996

Stomach submucosa derived tissue graft
SF Badylak, SL Voytik-Harbin, AO Brightman… - US Patent 6,099,567, 2000

Submucosa as a growth substrate for cells
SL Voytik-Harbin, AO Brightman, RM Meixner… - US Patent 6,264,992, 2001

Submucosa gel compositions
SL Voytik-Harbin, AO Brightman, RM Meixner… - US Patent 6,444,229, 2002

Submucosa extracts
SF Badylak, AO Brightman, JP Hodde, TB McPherson… - US Patent 6,375,989, 2002

Submucosa gel compositions
SL Voytik-Harbin, AO Brightman, RM Meixner… - US Patent 7,147,871, 2006

Growth factor modified extracellular matrix material and methods for preparation and use thereof
MC Hiles, A Brightman, AD Janis - EP Patent 2,150,283, 2010