Contact Dr Rylan Cox

Areas of expertise

  • Aerospace Manufacturing
  • Biomass and Waste


Rylans graduated with a BEng in Mechanical Engineering in 2017 from Brunel University having conducted his first bioprocessing project on biodegradable insulation for the construction industry.

He then continued at Cranfield University for his MSc in Advanced Materials and undertook two different projects which were developing nanocoatings for medical detection devices followed by optimising the production of microalgae through process intensification technology and media optimisation graduating in 2018.

Rylan then continued with an EngD in process intensification for producing value-adding chemicals. During his EngD he published 7 peer-reviewed journal publications and presented at 4 conferences with one best poster award. The work focuses on producing platform chemicals like lactic acid and ethanol from bread waste, as well as other products such as xylitol, succinic acid and beta-carotenoids from various feedstocks. Additionally, the EngD focused on the oscillatory baffled flow reactor on its ability in batch and continuous fermentation. After successfully defending his Viva in 2023,

Rylan now continues as a Research Fellow in sustainable aerospace manufacturing where he is part of a dynamic team developing a multi-decision-making platform to enable eco-socially driven choices. He focuses on the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies for environmental mapping through sensory and blockchain integration.

He also continues his research in the conversion of waste into value-adding chemicals such as pigments and citric acid as well as exploring the oscillatory baffle flow for application within bioprocessing to improve production rates including microalgae production. He recently won his first small grant of 10K to evaluate the oscillatory baffle flow reactor as a modular, mobile waste valorisation platform in which the current design is being modified and improved.

Research opportunities

Transitioning batch to continuous flow processes.

Feasibility and scale-up assessments of the Oscillatory Baffled Flow Reactor

Implementation of Industry 4 technologies for environmental footprint managing

Waste valorisation and fermentation into value-adding chemicals including:

- lactic acid

- succinic acid

- xylitol

- ethanol

- beta-carotenoids

- citric acid

Improved production of microalgae using optimisation and process intensification technologies.

- haematococcus pluvialis

- chlorella vulgaris

- chlorella protothecoides

- botryococcus braunii

Intensifying processes to enable clean and economically feasible bioprocessing such as:

- Fermentation

- Microalgae production

- Polymerisation

Current activities

Research fellow in sustainable aerospace manufacturing:

- Development of a multi-decision-making platform for eco-social scoring.

- Planning and implementation of Industry 4.0 for environmental, and social scoring within manufacturing and supply chain.

Development of continuous flow technologies for the production of value-adding chemicals and polymers:

- Investigating optimal flow conditions for continuous operation and scale-up implications.

- Evaluating the feasibility of glucose production in a continuous bioreactor compared with batch technologies.

- Evaluating growth profiles for enhanced microalgae production in oscillatory flow.

- Assessing the oscillatory baffle flow reactor under batch and continuous conditions to identify optimal performance for polymerisation.

Production of value-adding chemicals and pigments from waste

- Manufacture of glucose-rich syrups from industrial food waste (lignocellulosic biomass, potato and bread)

- Production of platform chemicals from beverage manufacture (lactic acid, xylitol)

- Developing organic pigments and carotenoids derived through microbial cell factories.


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers