Celebrating Two Decades of Collaboration – and Several More to Come

Our milestone isn’t just a celebration of our success – it’s a triumph of the trusted relationships we’ve built with our customers, committed staff, and the community we serve. We’re celebrating 20 years of being a part of the Eastside, seeing it grow and evolve, giving back, and being a part of its history. It’s the relationships, the bonds, the dedication, and the people that helped it grow. It’s through these connections which we are celebrating what will continue to support DEI thrive for generations to come.

We owe endless thanks to our staff and leadership that, through their commitment, dedication, and investment to Robb Dibble’s vision, have helped transform DEI into a collaborative organization which has stood the test of time. We are incredibly grateful for our community in the Seattle area, which has given a home to our business and from which our staff themselves call home. Through the involvement of the clients we’ve fostered, years of effort and sacrifice, and a purpose-driven mission, this 20-year milestone has been able to become a reality. 


Reflecting on the Journey DEI has withstood, founder and Principal, Robb Dibble, shares his story of taking control of his own destiny

20 years ago, DEI founder Robb Dibble set out to have his vision become a reality: to create a structural engineering firm made up of a community of diverse engineering backgrounds which create a synergy of collaboration that will work together on a variety of project types. It’s through this partnership that has seen the evolution of not only Dibble Engineers Inc., but the growth of all the dedicated partners who contributed to its success.

“Once we started creating that vision of this collaborative environment where we could all learn, grow together, and support our client base, DEI has taken off from there.”

Robb’s success story began with humble beginnings with just three employees in the loft above his garage. Within six months of DEI’s inception, the young company outgrew its small space. They then decided to partner with a civil engineering firm in Kirkland, where their similar industries would create complimentary skillsets. This empowering alliance allowed each company to feed off each other’s growth, leading to the hiring of more staff and the takeover of more office space.

“The natural process of organic growth and firm development is to focus on the core values of what the business intends to do. We wanted to have a purpose and a mission statement that is very simple: to provide high quality structural engineering services to our client base. If we could focus on that mission and purpose, we could focus on what we’re supposed to do, and not get distracted.”

This meant instead of focusing on time-consuming, high-profile projects with low budgets, DEI focused on providing on-going, hourly professional engineering services so the hourly rate could be met, and the company would grow in a positive and prosperous manner.  A ‘client-first’ agenda and a focus on a family-based type of firm allowed DEI to grow and build an increasingly larger client base. 

“As the project size complexity have increased, we’ve taken tremendous pride in knowing that the team-approach is working well to achieve a successful line of repeat client growth which allows us to get more and more complex projects.”  

Some of these key projects include:

  • Developing a significant market share of Multifamily projects across the Puget Sound area through new construction and rehabilitation planning
  • Creating prototypes for PACCAR’s massive parts distribution centers which would be rolled out across 100 different countries
  • Creating prototypes for Seattle’s Best, a subsidiary of American coffeehouse chain Starbucks, which would be pre-manufactured and shipped out across the South of US
  • Early involvement with development of Starbucks and McDonalds franchise repetition projects

The firm has been able to withstand major economic downturn cycles, whether it was 9/11, the ‘08 economic recession, or the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“Each time a firm can withstand a major economic cycle in our industry, it comes out more robust and resilient to future challenges that the economy throws at us”.


A crucial part of DEI’s success lies with the people who have been invested in its success along the way.

“It was critical to hire smart people and empower them to use their skillset in a way that promotes the success of the brand.”

DEI has taken control of its own direction and destiny by creating a core set of values in promoting its colleagues and staff. As it continued to grow into its potential over the past 20 years, the next step for DEI is to ensure that it will be a multigenerational firm that not only outlasts its original founder, and subsequent generations of ownership. 

“It was a goal to develop and build a 100 year company by creating a great foundation and infrastructure of the company, from which the firm can continue to grow and expand its footprint.”

The leadership and employees have been paramount throughout the company’s history and in its growth journey. The history of the firm as it proceeds into the future is based on what has been accomplished together as a group.

“Its only through the collaboration of brilliant, educated engineers and visionaries that have allowed DEI to arrive where it is. The future of the company rests on the shoulders of the current leadership and staff and where they take it with the years to come.”


A major milestone for DEI came in 2008 when the firm was able to own its own office building on Market Street in Kirkland, WA, and then in 2018, to construct a brand-new building on the property.

“Owning your building and having your name out front, the name in lights with the big steel structure – it gave us a sense of presence and grounding to our firm, to the area, and to our community here in Kirkland.”

In 2016, DEI committed to building its new home out of long-lasting concrete post-tensioned slab and concrete shear walls. It’s a building that has presence, durability, and seismic resistance so if any natural disaster occurs, DEI will have the ability to be in full operation before, during and hopefully, after any event.

“The city inspector even expressed that the city is going to put our building as a fallout shelter for the public to congregate in after a major emergency, because its so well built.”

DEI moved into its new building home on Market Street in 2018. It represents a strong presence and a commitment to the community.


Robb’s lifelong friend and graphic designer, Nathan Kyle, designed several mockups for potential logos and color schemes at the genesis of the company.

“This is not the design I chose, but after round and round discussion, he was adamant about this design. In hindsight it was absolutely the right call.

As the company grew, numerous architects, digital reprographics, and contractors would appreciate the unique and ubiquitous design.

Its a very recognizable action, a form of building in the most basic sense that you immediately identify with construction and building. For the reasons it was created, invested in, and promoted through signage, it signifies our value of getting stuff done.”

Dibble has been able to create a large clientele base founded on the drive of the company and its motivation to help the client be successful first and foremost.