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Our History

It all started with Barry Bishop graduating from Iowa State University in 1950, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He went on to add to his engineering skills by attaining both his Civil Engineering and Land Surveying licenses in 1955. Barry ventured on to work for Firestone where he refined his skills as an engineer. In 1959, inspired by the experience he had gained at Firestone, as well as the surveying he did on the weekends, Barry decided to start his own engineering company in the basement of his home in Urbandale, Iowa. Though he didn’t realize it at the time, his company would one day grow to be among the most respected engineering firms in Iowa.

In the beginning stages of development, Bishop Engineering was a one man show and was run solely by Barry. When he needed assistance, employees were generally found through temporary agencies and friends in the neighborhood. Since the company was looking for any and all work available at that time, Barry converted a 1953 Mercury Sedan into a survey truck so he could be operational and go out on jobs. Barry got by alone until he hired William Mikesch in 1962, who retired from the company in 2004. With one drafting table, a small desk, filing cabinet, an old blue printing machine and a dream, Barry and Bill got Bishop Engineering off the ground.

In 1976, when Bishop Engineering started to earn a reputation in town and was generating more revenue, they chose 3501 104th Street as their office location, where the company still operates today.

The company has evolved over time and many new faces have joined the Bishop family. Charles Bishop took over in 2000 when his father Barry retired in 1999. Charles carried on his father’s dream and ensured the continued success of the company in the new millennium. In 2020, Charles passed the torch to David Bentz and Joel Jackson.

David has worked at Bishop since 1997, graduating from Iowa State University in Civil Engineering in 2000.  With mentors the likes of Barry and Charles, David’s commitment to our client’s satisfaction and his strong work ethic is apparent in all his work. Joel joined the Bishop family in 2003 and is a graduate of Iowa State University as well. Together David and Joel create a leadership team focused on a good work ethic and commitment to providing honest and knowledgeable service to its customers.

Bishop Engineering takes pride in the fact that we have always been located in Urbandale and have had the opportunity to help shape communities in the central Iowa area through our involvement in various projects over the years. Although a lot has changed since the company’s birth in 1959, some things remain the same; Bishop is still dedicated to offering its clients the quality of service needed to attain engineering success.