Academy of Distinguished Alumni
Paul A. Cocotis B.S., P.E.
Inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni on
Paul Cocotis received his B.S. degree (1990) in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Upon graduation, he joined Shimmick Construction where he worked for his entire professional career. He started at Shimmick as a Field Engineer and rose through the ranks to Project Superintendent, Project Manager, Vice President, President (2003), CEO (2005), and Chairman of the Board (2010). With a focus on heavy civil construction, Shimmick’s projects span a wide range of markets, from bridges and water/wastewater treatment facilities, to dams, transit/rail infrastructure, foundations, and other facilities. Shimmick’s core values include safety, fairness, innovation, and bringing out the best in their people. Under Mr. Cocotis’ leadership, Shimmick rose to be a “Top 200” national contractor based on rankings in Engineering News Record (ENR). In 2017, Shimmick merged into the global design and construction firm AECOM and Mr. Cocotis is now President of the national AECOM Civil Construction Group.
Mr. Cocotis is a widely-recognized leader in the heavy/civil construction industry. Under his leadership, Shimmick grew ten-fold in less than a decade and expanded into new markets. Shimmick regularly wins awards for completing difficult projects. For example, its Transbay Lower Concrete Project was recognized by ENR with a "Best California Project" award. Projects in which he has been directly involved include San Francisco (SF) Mass Transit Authority (MTA); Los Angeles (LA) MTA; Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART); Ports of SF, LA, Oakland, and Long Beach; the new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco; Bureau of Reclamation; Department of Navy; and others. Presently, Shimmick is leading the construction of the new Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach; the retrofit of the BART Transbay tubes; and the BART extension to San Jose.
Mr. Cocotis is a member of both the Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon engineering honor societies. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Associated General Contractors of America, and United Contractors Association. He is a Director of The Beavers, a heavy civil construction honorary and social organization.
Mr. Cocotis was integral to starting and endowing the John C. Shimmick scholarship for CEE undergraduates at Berkeley. In addition, as a Director of The Beavers, he supported the renewal and enhancement of the Beavers Scholarship to Berkeley CEE students. That scholarship, along with the Shimmick Scholarship, increase the abilities of the CEE Department to recruit and support students, especially those interested in pursuing careers in construction. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Lair of the Bear, and he and his family are Camp Gold regulars, visiting the Lair annually for the past 15 years.