Paul van der Merwe is an author, engineer and a Guinness World Record holder.
Paul was born in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1974 and grew up in the small town of Meerhof on the banks of the Hartbeespoort dam in the North-West province of South Africa. After graduating from Hartbeespoort High School in 1992, Paul studied towards a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Pretoria, which he completed in 1998.
As part of his bursary obligations, Paul worked for De Beers on their diamond mine in Lime Acres in the Northern Cape, South Africa for 2 years. During this time, with not much to do over weekends in the small mining town, Paul set about realizing a life-long dream of being in the Guinness Book of Records. He achieved this feat on 15 May 1999 by throwing a bottle cap a distance of 69,924m, and setting a new Guinness World record in the process.
Not wanting to settle down in a small mining town at a young age, Paul resigned and continued to spend a year in London doing various odd jobs, ranging from security guard duties to data capturing for British Airways, in order to fund his travels.
Returning to South Africa at the end of 2000, Paul joined an engineering contractor that executes large capital projects for the international mining and minerals industry. He has been directly involved in the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of three diamond-, and one uranium ore processing plant in Southern Africa.
Paul still works for the same company, fifteen years later and currently holds the position of Engineering Manager.
Paul currently lives in Pretoria, South Africa and is married to Corlia. They have two children ages six and nine.