I’m a New York native with a ceaseless interest in culture and engineering. I graduated from Webb Institute with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. The maritime industry kickstarted my penchant for pairing work and travel — I was a boat shop apprentice in the Chesapeake bay, cadet on a trans-Atlantic chemical tanker, naval architect for Seattle ferries, hydrodynamicist for Naval vessels in Groton, and water desalination analyst in Israel.

I then left the industry to study innovation, supply chain management, and mechanical engineering at MIT and consequently pivoted to the world of high tech, specifically the manufacturing and assembly of prototype devices in China.

In the San Francisco Bay area where I currently reside, I enjoy being in nature, watching films, and reading historical fiction and long-form journalism. In Shanghai, when not in the factory, I’m jamming on the violin to classic rock, blues, jazz, and Chinese folk music in the cafes and bars of the French Concession. Occasionally there’s time for a side trip to Japan or beyond.

Enjoy my observations, and please share your own. If you have comments, questions, or want to say hello, please contact me at:  [my first name] + [dot] + [mit] + [at] + [gmail] + [dot] + [com]

Thanks for visiting,
Simmy Willemann

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5 Responses to About

  1. Anne Willemann says:

    I like your photos and descriptions of life in Shanghai. It makes me feel like I’m there. Please show a photo of the view from your apartment window as well. Are you doing any cooking yourself yet? How much are the factory made violins??

    • simmywillemann says:

      The list price on the violins is $4,000! After I gave the shop keepers a little concert on one of them – which sang extremely well – they said I could have it for $2,000 if the owner agreed. This was with a friend present who was acting as an interpreter. I hope they’re not all that expensive. I’m also looking for erhu lessons.

  2. james qu says:

    I am James Qu, the boy who sat next to you in LINGO English SANLO in 2/12 evening.

  3. Chris says:

    Hey, like the new banner. We’ve gotta get more uploaded on the summer trip, tons of good material. Let me know if I can help.

  4. Nory says:

    Really enjoyed reading about these experiences, Simmi. Isn’t it funny how little we know about one another. I dabble in SEO, and you’re a genius. Reading all your travel accounts with the gorgeous images reminds me that I’d like to leave Connecticut and support myself doing SEO and writing assignments while I travel.

    I’ve made a bunch of friends around the world while working on oDesk.com. One of them is a beautiful Dane named Henrik who once hired me for his company to write apps copy. He and I are working on creating an iPad/Kindle mag about digital nomads. We Skype with our progress on the project. It can really get me worked into fantasies about traveling light. I never knew you had actually DONE it. Kudos!

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