Derek Van Dam, ’05, attributes his continued success as a meteorologist and public figure to the relationships and solid foundation he received at CMU.
He is the chief meteorologist and head of the weather department for e.news – the first 24-hour news and weather channel in Africa, which he helped to launch in 2008. He also is the voice of the morning weather report for Jacaranda 94.2 FM in Johannesburg.
Derek’s impact on the advancement of meteorology in South Africa is amazing. He helped develop integrated teams for the first touch-screen weather bulletins in Africa.
He is a certified broadcast meteorologist from the American Meteorological Society, and in South Africa, Derek is considered a national superstar. In 2008, he was named You Magazine’s "Best Newcomer to South Africa," and he has appeared in several national and international commercials.
He is passionate about his charity work and continues to work with the Compassionate Life Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that supports an orphanage in Swaziland. He also is a spokesman for the Make a Dream Foundation.
Before catapulting his career in South Africa, Derek was extremely active in the CMU community. As a student, he worked with WCMU News Central 34 as the on-air meteorologist. He also was the vice president and secretary of the CMU student chapter of the AMS. After graduation he would return to CMU to give presentations to student groups on meteorology.
After graduating in 2005, Derek worked as the on-air weekday morning meteorologist for WEYI NBC 25, where he helped develop the station’s Internet weather capabilities and trained fire and police offices regarding severe weather identification.