NEWS / Press Releases / New chair of ACE to help members face “challenge of a generation”


17 MAY 2023


Dr Sarah Prichard to deliver on the ACE blueprint and support members in rising to the challenges and opportunities afforded by Net Zero.

Dr Sarah Prichard has pledged to support the Association of Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and the organisation’s members as they come together and face the “challenge of a generation”.

She believes membership of ACE gives companies of all sizes a stronger voice and a greater impact when it comes to putting the built environment sector at the heart of the global net zero challenge.

The partner and managing director for UK Buildings, Hong Kong and China at Buro Happold is also focused on ACE’s delivery of its 2022 to 2025 blueprint.

Dr Prichard believes this blueprint will support ACE members in being more impactful and driving economic growth across the UK, whilst developing skills for a greener future and ensuring the industry continues to focus on safety, equality and inclusion.  

“The Association for Consultancy and Engineering is the industry body responsible for representing the views of 400 member organisations in the sector and has a leading voice, showcasing the industry’s role in tackling climate change,” Dr Prichard says.

“Through working with and representing the views of member firms, from micro-organisations to those representing tens of thousands of employees, it works with the UK and devolved governments to shape policy and ensure the industry gets the recognition it deserves.

“As Chair of ACE, I will support the CEO in implementing the Blueprint, and ensuring it has a significant impact on the industry.”

She adds it is crucial that member organisations unite and promote consultancy and engineering in the UK, to increase the profile of the industry overall, as well as individual member organisations.

“Our industry needs to be more diverse, more inclusive and prouder of the contribution its members make to the UK - both in incredible projects of all scales, and to GDP and skills,” she says.

Recognising the built environment sector will be a “major contributor” to resolving challenges associated with the climate emergency and acknowledging the challenge is too great for individual organisations working alone, she adds collaboration between ACE member organisations of all sizes is key.

“Our unity will result in us having a stronger voice, amplifying our message and achieving recognition of the importance of our industry to overcome the challenges and addressing the opportunities afforded by the drive towards net zero,” she says.

Welcoming Dr Prichard to the chair’s role, Stephen Marcos Jones, chief executive of ACE and the Environmental Industries Commission (EIC), said: “We’re really pleased to be able to benefit from Dr Prichard’s vast knowledge and experience, as she takes on the chair’s role and we also thank our previous chair Dave Beddell for his tireless hard work and commitment.

“Dr Prichard has been involved with ACE since joining the Board in January 2020, as the chair of the Net Zero Taskforce - now the Climate Change Advisory group - which spans both EIC and ACE.

“She is a passionate advocate for the industry’s role in working towards achieving net zero goals and under her leadership, the group investigated the readiness of the industry to meet the UK’s net zero targets and produced a guide for member organisations at earlier stages in their net zero journey, including our SME members.”

He adds: “We feel sure Dr Prichard will support ACE to maintain a clear and distinct voice in the industry, helping us to support and represent our members in everything that we do.”

Dave Beddell, director of growth, Europe & India - Global Business Line at AECOM, said: “I have enjoyed working with ACE and feel that Stephen and the board have made significant progress to modernise ACE.

“In doing so, they have ensured ACE is well-placed to serve members during a transformational period for the industry and in the future.

“Having worked with Dr Prichard within ACE, members can be assured they will be well represented under her leadership and I have every confidence she will build upon the work ACE has already done, supporting Stephen to successfully drive the implementation of the ACE Blueprint.”


For more details, please contact Sarah Walker on 07896 894538 or at

Notes to editors:

  • As the leading business association in the sector, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) represents the interests of around 430 professional consultancy and engineering companies large and small in the UK. Many of our member companies have gained international recognition and acclaim and employ over 60,000 in the UK and 250,000 staff worldwide; 
  • ACE members are at the heart of planning, conceptualisation, delivering, maintaining and upgrading our buildings, structures and infrastructure. They provide specialist services to a diverse range of sectors including transportation (road, rail, airport and ports), housing and commercial property, water, sanitation and energy and environment; 
  • The ACE membership acts as the bridge between engineering consultants who make an estimated contribution of £15bn to the nation’s economy and the wider construction market contributing a further £90bn. 
  • Find out more at our website ( or follow us on Twitter (@Ace_Updates).
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