Our History

Since 1980, Dudek has grown from a two-person, Southern California-focused engineering firm to a 700-person, national, multidisciplinary environmental, planning, engineering firm. Our history includes projects in all 50 states and Dudek is ranked as one of the Top 105 U.S. Environmental Firms (Engineering News-Record, 2022).

Black and white photo of Frank Dudek, sitting at his desk, looking at the camera.

Frank Dudek, Founder

“From my 41 years as founder and leader at Dudek, I have three basic takeaways. First, experiencing tremendous satisfaction in helping build a successful, sustainable, and growing consulting firm throughout California—and now well beyond. Second, achieving an early goal I set for myself: to assemble such a diverse and competent management and professional staff that it renders its founder non-essential to the continued success of the firm. And third, accomplishing this with a simple management philosophy: to provide unwavering trust and support, along with meaningful rewards and opportunity for ownership, with minimal bureaucracy.”

Joe Monaco stands on stage with a woman at Envision Strategic Planning event, a recurring part of our history

Joe Monaco, President and CEO

“I joined Dudek in 2000. What I remember most clearly from those early days is a feeling of opportunity—but also, that we had a lot of work ahead of us to reach our aspirational goals! I never would have imagined back then that we would have achieved so much today: a nationwide presence, successful ownership and leadership transitions, a robust corporate culture that reflects our strong core values, and record financial growth. My feeling of opportunity has only grown as we have achieved great success by identifying and leveraging opportunities throughout the years. By doing so, we continue to create more and better opportunities to work on interesting projects, to develop our careers, to be an industry leader, and to have fun doing it!”

Dudek through the Decades

Cool Timeline

Dudek Founded
Dudek Founded

Dudek opens its doors in downtown Encinitas, California as a small civil engineering consulting practice working for municipal wastewater agencies and private land developers in San Diego County.

Construction Management Practice Started
Construction Management Practice Started

The firm launches its construction management practice focused on Southern California developments and infrastructure.

District Management Practice Launched
District Management Practice Launched

The District Management practice is launched, widening the scope of services offered to our water district clients.

Environmental Practice Started
birds swim in coastal lagoon

The Environmental practice is launched to help clients navigate projects through California’s complex environmental regulatory permitting and documentation processes.

Hydrogeology/Hazardous Waste Practice Launched
Hydrogeology/Hazardous Waste Practice Launched

Dudek’s hydrogeology practice is launched to tackle projects requiring the extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater/soils and recharge of water/treated wastewater.

Central Coast Expansion
Central Coast Expansion

Dudek opens its first regional office in Santa Barbara, expanding into California’s Central Coast, with a focus on local development and permitting.

Orange County Office Opening

Office is established in Orange, California, expanding our geographic reach for water district and city clients.

Staff Grows to 50

50 Dudekians work in 3 offices across California.

Inland Empire Expansion
Inland Empire Expansion

Dudek moves into Palm Desert, California to focus on civil engineering and habitat conservation planning throughout the vast and diverse Coachella Valley.

Staff Expands to 100

100 Dudekians work in 3 offices across California.

ESOP Created

The firm creates an ESOP to protect and further develop employee ownership.

HRS Founded
HRS Founded

HRS (Habitat Restoration Sciences), our habitat restoration construction subsidiary is founded, branching out from and complementing our habitat restoration design practice.

Northern California Expansion
Northern California Expansion

Dudek moves into Northern California with an office in Auburn focused on preserving and planning for the Sierra foothills and surrounding regions.

Staff Grows to 200

200 Dudekians work in 5 offices across California.

Sacramento Office Opening

Sacramento office opens adding planning and environmental regulatory experts proximate to our state agency clients.

Bay Area Expansion
Bay Area Expansion

The firm opens two Bay Area offices in Larkspur and San Francisco to service a diverse set of clients spread geographically around the Bay.

LA Metro Area Expansion
LA Metro Area Expansion

Dudek establishes Pasadena office, positioning the firm to service Los Angeles County clients on large infrastructure and planning projects.

Staff Expands to 300

300 Dudekians work in 8 offices across California.

Pacific Expansion
Pacific Expansion

The firm goes west, expanding into Hawai’i to establish our aerial surveying practice (now Mapping and Surveying).

Santa Cruz Office Opening

Dudek widens its Central Coast presence with the opening of an office in Santa Cruz focused on local agency and statewide education system clients.

Northwest Expansion
Northwest Expansion

Dudek adds a Portland office to serve as a base for the multifaceted needs of our Pacific Northwest clients.

Oakland Office Opening

Dudek’s Bay Area presence continues to evolve to suit the needs of city and agency clients around the bay, consolidating into a single office in downtown Oakland, California.

Joe Monaco Named President
Dudek President and CEO Joe Monaco, who is part of the corporate leadership team.

The firm transitions leadership for the first time with the appointment of Joe Monaco, AICP, who serves as President and CEO.

Staff Grows to 400

400 Dudekians work in 12 offices in California, Oregon, and Hawaiʻi.

Staff Expands to 500

500 Dudekians work in 12 offices across the western United States.

Bakersfield Office Opening

The firm opens an office in Bakersfield to service Central Valley clients.

Eastern Expansion
Eastern Expansion

Dudek crosses the nation, opening our first eastern office in Lake Worth Beach, Florida to service our renewable energy clients.

San Diego Office Opening

An office in San Diego proper is established in close proximity to some of our biggest and oldest hometown clients.

Virginia Office Opening

Dudek establishes an office in downtown Norfolk, Virginia to serve our ever expanding energy clients as they work to meet new and growing renewable portfolio standards.

Dudek Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Dudek Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Dudek serves clients in every resource and infrastructure-related sector.

Our team consists of 15 major practice groups.

Our 600+ employees work in 16 offices nationwide.

Our projects span more than 40 states.

Mountain West Expansion
Mountain West Expansion

The firm opens an office in Denver, Colorado to further service clients in the Mountain West and beyond.

Staff Expands to 700

700 Dudekians work in 17 offices across the United States.

Firm Transitions to 100% Employee Ownership

Dudek transitioned from being partially owned to wholly owned by our employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), providing an equitable means for profit sharing and wealth-building over time for all Dudekians.

Eric Wilson Named Executive Vice President
Eric Wilson Named Executive Vice President

Environmental Division Leader Eric Wilson is named Executive Vice President as part of a long-planned leadership succession process put in place to ensure the continuing viability and sustainability of the firm’s culture and growth strategy.

Seattle Office Opening

Our Seattle office opens to continue serving clients in the Pacific Northwest.