Summit Steel Works History
From Bungees to Structural Steel
Way back in the prehistory of Summit Steel Works, our founders were jumping off bridges. In other words, business was great. Pete and Nikki Kockelman were two thirds of the team (along with Pete's brother John) that first brought commercial bungee jumping to the U.S.. Pete had graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a Mechanical Engineering degree and spent a couple years with Litton Guidance and Control Systems before starting Bungee Adventures. In addition to helping tens of thousands of customers take the leap, the two brothers showcased their skills in commercials for Reebok, General Motors, and Tostitos, and made numerous television-show appearances. Not content to stick with what they knew, the team invented a giant slingshot that used bungee cords to propel two passengers 150 feet into the air, a creation granted a US patent in 1992.
Success brought growth and new designs. Ian Gravina joined the team, and the company name was changed to Gravity Works, which better suited their expanding product line. Gravity Works Corp. would go on to deliver over 30 high-thrill rides to parks around the world. However, following the evaporation of amusement ride sales after the 9/11 attacks, the company was sold and Summit Steel Works was formed by Peter and Nikki Kockelman and Ian Gravina.
Building on Strength
In its first 15 years of operation, Summit Steel Works has grown to include a total of 100 dedicated employees, including ten mechanical engineers. Combining our commitment to service with state-of-the-art tools, including Tekla's BIM software suite, Summit Steel Works has established itself as the go-to steel design/build shop in the Bay Area and Northern California. Today, Summit Steel Works is one of the top design/build miscellaneous metals companies in Northern California, pre-qualified with 90% of the largest commercial contractors in Silicon Valley (a growing list).
Nobody's jumping off our creations any more (we hope), but the same passion that had us strapping into harnesses and taking that leap ... is still a part of every project we take on.
Our Mission Statement
Summit Steel Works thrives on jobs that other metal contractors avoid. From simple embeds to the most complex curved stair assemblies and challenging structural steel, we have what it takes to get the job done.