About David T. Kearns

I’m David Kearns, an experienced engineer and consultant with a background in process engineering and sustainability consulting. I am Founder and Principal Consultant of Sustainable Services Pty. Ltd., based in Melbourne, Australia. I’m also co-founder of Industrial Machine Learning startup Sustainable Data.

I work with clients across Australia and the world. I am a citizen of Australia, the UK and Ireland with the right to work in Australia and the EU.

I am an independent consultant, providing industrial and consulting clients with technical, sustainability and related services.

I hold a Bachelor of Engineering (1st class honours) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce (Management), all from Monash University, Australia.


My experience spans the breadth and depth of the energy, process and sustainability fields:

  • Sustainability Consulting and Reporting, including triple bottom line assessments for large scale resources projects.
  • Greenhouse gas measurement and reporting (including GHG Protocol, NGERS, and similar schemes) with particular expertise in technical aspects of such schemes. I have extensive experience in compliance with government schemes.
  • Carbon and Energy assurance. I am a Registered Greenhouse and Energy Auditor (Category 1, Technical), certified by the Australian Clean Energy Regulator.
  • Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund program, including project registration, compliance with rules, reporting and audits.
  • Compliance with new or changed government programs or schemes in the energy, carbon or environmental areas, including advice on optimising your systems or interpreting program or scheme rules or legislation.
  • Engineering and consulting project manager, having led teams of professionals to deliver engineering or energy/carbon consulting projects.
  • Industrial energy efficiency, including technical modelling and simulation, government schemes, process design and project management.
  • Life cycle assessment, including Scope 3 GHG emissions estimation.
  • Process design, simulation and modelling. I have extensive industrial experience across a range of industrial sectors (see below).
  • Educational programs for Monash University and the University of Melbourne. This includes unit coordination, lecturing and case study presentation. I have advised on the final year Design Project for Monash and Melbourne Chemical Engineering programs. I also taught at the Masters level in Monash’s Advanced Process Engineering program.
  • I have developed and delivered training courses in process design, simulation, sustainability, carbon management and audit, health and safety, and process technology for EPCMs, oil refineries, power stations, chemical plants and other heavy industry audiences.
  • Numerous conference presentations on energy, carbon, process engineering and related issues.
  • I have assisted in the automation of marketing and sales materials for a client in the electricity and gas industry.
  • I have statistical and computing experience, including engineering and statistical programming (Python, VBA, Swift, Fortran), systems modelling and automation of computer processes.


I have worked as an engineer, manager and consultant to the following industries/sectors:

  • Environmental and Engineering Consulting
  • Engineering Procurement and Construction Management
  • Electricity generation
  • Cement manufacturing
  • Biofuels
  • Oil & Gas (upstream and downstream)
  • Mining (Coal, Iron ore)
  • Minerals Processing and metals manufacturing
  • Biofuels
  • Industrial Gases
  • Petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals
  • Transport
  • Government
  • Business Consulting
  • University research and teaching
  • Training courses for industry

How can I work for you?


I am an independent consultant, available for short engagements (hours, days or weeks) or working longer-term. I am very flexible in how and when I can help your business. Fees can be on a basis that suits you. I have worked on a fixed-price, schedule of rates or even casual employment basis – whatever suits your business situation.

On-site or by distance:

I can work at your site (including travelling to remote site locations) or via internet/email/telephone.


I work for consulting or industrial organisations as a direct contractor or sub-contractor, providing specialist skills and additional resources as required.

Direct engagements:

I also undertake engagements directly for industrial businesses that might otherwise require EPCM or consulting firm advice. As an independent consultant I can be very competitive with such organisations. I am affiliated with a network of other independent professionals (technical, legal, health and safety etc.) and can compile a project team if needed for larger engagements.


If you have particular training needs, especially in the areas of sustainability, carbon, energy efficiency, or industrial technology, I can develop and deliver training courses in such areas.  

My background

I hold a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Monash University. My PhD research involved improving the design and energy efficiency of industrial gas separation processes through dynamic process modelling and detailed investigation of the thermodynamics of gas separations. This work helped to develop my knowledge of Carbon Capture technology, which led to an abiding interest in industrial energy efficiency and industrial greenhouse gas management. I also hold Bachelors degrees in Chemical Engineering and Commerce from Monash University.

I worked for many years in the Petrochemicals industry for Qenos, involved in process design and plant operations roles.

I worked as a senior process design engineer for WorleyParsons, undertaking design, safety and environmental projects for a range of heavy industrial sectors (oil and gas, chemicals, industrial gases, sugar refining). This included a period of operations support at an oil refinery. It also involved working as a sustainability consultant for WorleyParsons’ global EcoNomics team.

I was Group Leader in Greenhouse Gas Consulting for HRL Technology, providing technical consulting and assurance services in greenhouse gas management and energy efficiency. This was predominantly for the power generation sector, but also involved extensive work for coal mines, cement plants, oil and gas companies as well as for the Australian Government (Clean Energy Regulator, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency).

Finally, I was unit coordinator and lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Monash University for 7 years, delivering the core unit “Sustainable Processing I”.

Thank You for reading!