Mariam Darestani

Penrith, New South Wales

Engineer, inventor

Mariam has an innovative and simple solution to one of Australia’s biggest environmental problems. The University of Western Sydney-based researcher is working on a sensor that mimics the way plants detect soil nutrients in order to reduce the impact of over-fertilisation on our waterways and oceans. Mariam’s proposed invention has the potential to not only increase agricultural productivity and profitability by saving on fertiliser and labour costs, but also help meet the food demands of a growing Australian population and burgeoning Asian market. This grant will help Mariam to build a prototype, with the hope of commercialising the sensor for both agricultural and backyard use.