Mr Sheffield graduated from the university in 1983 with a degree in civil engineering and Kier is one of the founding sponsors of the University of Surrey/Institution of Civil Engineers scholarship scheme, which is now in its 13th year and has supported more than 250 civil engineering students.
Mr Sheffield’s industry experience started when he was an undergraduate student on his industrial year placement in Southern Africa. After graduating, he joined French Kier (as it was then) and was immediately posted to Papua New Guinea. He then went on to take lead roles in projects in the Middle East and Hong Kong. In 1996, the Institution of Civil Engineers named him civil engineering project manager of the year.
After becoming managing director of Kier in 2001, Paul was appointed to the board and took responsibility for the group's construction activities in 2008.
Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, the university's vice-chancellor and president, said: "All of our honorary degree recipients have made outstanding contributions in their chosen fields. I am delighted to take this opportunity to publicly recognise such distinguished colleagues. They are individuals the University is extremely proud to be associated with."