James began his career in building systems in 1986 and founded Petersen Engineering, Inc. in 1992. He has always had a passion for energy efficiency and is an industry leader in advancing sustainability, high-performance building, and building a zero-carbon future. With his holistic philosophy for the design of buildings James leads and collaborates with project teams to optimize the integration of MEP/FP systems with architecture, sites, building enclosures and building science fundamentals.
James is a licensed Professional Engineer in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maine, Vermont, and the District of Columbia. He received a BS in mechanical engineering and a BA in philosophy from the University of New Hampshire. He is also a lifetime member and leader in Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) having served as chair of the board of directors, and co-chair of the Boston Building Energy Conference. From 2020 through 2021, James served as co-chair of the Citizen Response Task Force, a 21-person committee charged with making recommendations to Portsmouth city officials related to COVID-19.