Despite substantial research activity on bioreactor design and experiments, there are very few reports of modelling tools that can be used to generate predictive models describing how bioreactor parameters affect performance. New developments in mathematics, such as sparse Bayesian feature selection methods and nonlinear model-free modelling regression methods, offer considerable promise for modelling diverse types of data. The utility of these mathematical tools in stem cell biology are demonstrated by analysis of a large set of bioreactor data derived from the literature. In spite of the diversity of the data sources, and the inherent difficulty in representing bioreactor variables, these modelling methods were able to develop robust, quantitative, predictive models. These models relate bioreactor operational parameters to the degree of expansion of haematopoietic stem cells or their progenitors, and also identify the bioreactor variables that are most likely to affect performance across many experiments. These methods show substantial promise in assisting the design and optimisation of stem cell bioreactors.