Engineering firm makes leadership appointment

Sarah Peterson joins xburo as director of energy and sustainability.

An award-winning advocate for women in engineering has joined xburo to head up its Edinburgh office and lead energy and sustainability across its UK operations.

Sarah Peterson, who was previously awarded the Net Zero Adviser of the Year by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), has joined the mechanical and electrical engineering consultancy as a director to drive forward the route to net zero and sustainability for its clients. 

Peterson is part of xburo’s strategic growth plans following a demand in its mechanical and electrical engineering services. 

xburo reported it had tripled growth to deliver projects worth more than £350m in the past two years and has started 2023 strongly with key appointments including Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh, a £100m redevelopment for the city.  

The chair of ACE Scotland, she has built a 20-year career in engineering, latterly spending eight years as a director at Harley Haddow, the multidisciplinary engineering practice. Prior to this, she held sustainability and mechanical engineering roles, delivering energy efficiency designs across education, commercial, science, healthcare and masterplan sectors. 

xburo founders and directors Thomas Brady and Michael Gribben established the company in 2018. 

“This is a major appointment for xburo,” said Gribben.

“Our drive for success is underpinned by delivering expertise and there is nobody more qualified than Sarah Peterson to lead the route to net zero and sustainability for our clients. This is at the forefront of our agenda for clients and with Sarah on board, our team, our clients and our projects will be expertly-led to address the evolving needs of businesses, buildings and the environment.” 

Peterson said: “I am delighted to be joining xburo. The company ethos is closely aligned with my own in approach to design, and commitment to provide high-quality engineering solutions.  

“As we move towards Net Zero, our industry faces a period of dynamic and innovative change with building performance a key driver which I am excited to drive alongside xburo.” 

The team of senior-led mechanical and electrical engineers offer services including traditional M+E design, client technical advisory, asset management and low-carbon consulting. This appointment follows the appointment of principal mechanical engineer Kieran McFadden and senior mechanical engineer Alistair Walker.  

xburo is currently delivering substantial projects in private and public sector in education, healthcare, defence, commercial and residential for several clients including North Lanarkshire Council, NHS Highland, NHS Lothian, NHS Golden Jubilee, and East Renfrewshire Council. 

If you would like to contact Sarah Walker about this, or any other story, please email