Personal profile

Research interests

I have broad research interests in sustainable manufacturing and circular economy for food, drink and biotech industries, including:

  • High-gravity fermentation for energy and water savings
  • Yeast physiology associated with stress response and flavour biosynthesis
  • Deployment of artificial intelligence for process optimisation
  • Agri-food waste valorisation for circular economy
  • Bioconversion of carbon dioxide to value-added products

Current projects:

  • Guidance Manual: Responsible & Safe Handling of C1 Gases in Microbiology Laboratories (2022-2024; Funder: BBSRC | Carbon Recycling Network; Partner: Ingenza)
  • Impact of (Very) High Gravity Distilling Fermentation on the Characteristics of Distilled Products and Carbon Footprints (2023-2027; Funders: Diageo and Heriot-Watt Univerisity)
  • From CO2 to Food: Development of Microbial Biomass as a Novel Food Source (2024-2028; Funders: Albida Agriculture and Heriot-Watt University)


Dr Shiwen Zhuang joined Heriot-Watt in 2022, as an Assistant Professor at The International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD). Prior to joining Heriot-Watt, he was a Senior Fermentation Scientist at Scotland's Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), where he worked with a diverse range of biotech companies and led a team of scientists to deliver fermentation scale-up projects and industrial training courses. Further, Shiwen worked as a Fermentation Engineer at Calysta Ltd. UK, a world leader in manufacturing sustainable single-cell protein by fermenting natural gas. Here he was a technical lead in optimising a demo-scale plant and oversaw the development of a gas fermentation laboratory including safety risk assessment, process commissioning and technology transfer.

Shiwen holds a Master's degree in Engineering and a PhD in Food Science (University of Nottingham, UK), followed by postdoctoral research at the Technical University of Denmark and Carlsberg Research Laboratory in Copenhagen.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Teacher - Concepts in Beverage Science (Undergraduate course)
  • Teacher - Distilling and Whisky Maturation (Postgraduate and undergraduate courses)
  • Supervisor - BSc, MSc and PhD research projects

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


  • Q Science (General)
  • Food & Drink
  • Sustainability
  • Yeast
  • TS Manufactures
  • Gas fermentation
  • Bioprocessing scale-up
  • Carbon dioxide utilisation


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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