Origin Design Marks 40-Year Anniversary

Dubuque, IA—Origin Design (formerly IIW) marks its 40th year in business this month.

On February 1, 1982, Denny Waugh and Carl Schoenhard, Jr. founded Origin Design, then known as IIW Associates P.C., a five-person land survey and civil/structural engineering consulting firm. 

“My goal at the time was to be one of the best engineering firms in Northeast Iowa and I think that goal was accomplished,” said Denny Waugh, PE, Co-Founder and Technical Advisor for Origin Design, as he reflected on when the company was founded. 

Denny Waugh and Carl Schoenhard, Jr.
Denny Waugh and Carl Schoenhard, Jr.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the company saw tremendous growth with a focus on expanding their staff and the services they offered to their clients, including the addition of municipal engineering, traffic & transportation, water resources, land development, architecture and field services. 

“I’m incredibly thankful for our former and current employees as they’ve shaped us into the well-respected and sought-after firm that we are today,” added Pat Ready, PE, President & CEO of Origin Design.

Some of the other more recent milestones in the company’s 40-year history include:

  • In 1999, Carl retired and sold his controlling interest in the company to the employees.
  • In 2010, the company expanded by opening a branch office in Davenport to better serve its clients in the Quad Cities area.
  • In 2018, Denny retired and the following year the company became 100% employee-owned.
  • In 2021, IIW rebranded and changed its name to Origin Design, and relocated its corporate headquarters to downtown Dubuque.

“When I retired in 2018, I felt really good about all the young talent here. It’s great to see them continue the success of the firm,” said Waugh.

Today, Origin Design is a 100% employee-owned, full-service professional design firm with more than 75 employees. Since 1982, the company has built a reputation of delivering impactful, sustainable solutions to help the clients and communities they work with thrive and grow. 

For 40 years, we’ve had the fortune of partnering with wonderful clients who put their trust in us. We don’t take those partnerships for granted and we continue to be thankful and humbled every time a client gives us the opportunity to serve them.

Pat Ready, PE President & CEO


Follow our journey.

Last Friday, our staff attended the Grand Opening of the Bee Branch Pedestrian Tunnels in Dubuque, IA. The project has made such an impact on the Dubuque community—we're so grateful to have been a part of it! Check out more photos & learn more about the project here.

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Happy International Women in Engineering Day! We're so lucky to have this group of women engineers on our #origincrew! If you've been lucky enough to work with them on a project, you know just how talented they are!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #itstartshere #womenengineers #INWED

Andrew Busch, AIA, and Chris Becklin, PE, recently graduated from the ACEC Wisconsin Leadership Institute. ACEC, American Council of Engineering Companies, of Wisconsin annually offers the Leadership Institute. Congrats, Andrew & Chris! We're lucky to have you on our #origincrew!

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Anthony Hartman recently joined Origin Design as a Design Technician. We're excited to have you on our #origincrew, Anthony! Welcome to Origin Design!

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Dylan Kramer is celebrating 5 years at Origin Design! Congrats, Dylan. We're lucky to have you on our Land Survey Team & can't wait to see what you'll accomplish in the next 5!

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Come join our #origincrew! We're looking for an experienced Business Development professional based out of our Quad Cities Office. Learn more & apply here.

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Are you looking to kick start your career in the A/E industry? Or are you looking for a change of pace? We're hiring for multiple positions & we want you to join our #origincrew. Check out our careers page & apply now!

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Today's the Day! Stop by Booth 37 to chat with Nate Miller & Noah Hofrichter to learn about what we can do for you! We hope to see you there!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #itstartshere #wchasummerroadschool

#tbt Tim Tranel is celebrating 30 years at Origin Design! Tim has been with Origin (formerly IIW) for his entire career. Check out these throwback photos & join us in wishing him a Happy Anniversary!

#origindesign #40yearanniversary #1982to2022 #followourjourney

Join us June 6th through 8th at Chula Vista Resort for the Wisconsin County Highway Association Summer Highway Conference! Nate Miller & Noah Hofrichter will be at Booth 37. Stop by & learn more about what we can do for you!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #itstartshere #WCHASummerRoadSchool

Welcome to Origin Design, Miles! Miles Carper recently joined Origin as a Field Services Construction Assistant through our summer/fall Co-op Program. We're excited to have you on our #origincrew Miles!

#origindesign #workingontomorrow #yourfuturestartshere #newhire

Andrew Koetz is celebrating 5 years at Origin Design. Congrats Andrew & thanks for everything you do! Here's to the next 5 years!

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