Montserrat alumna Zoie Bleau (’20) has brought her career from the studio to the space station. She says she is “made for the Aviation and Aerospace Industry.”
Two years ago, Bleau was still a senior at Montserrat College of Art, completing her BFA in her
Sculpture concentration. The pandemic was still in its early stages and classes were fully virtual.
A tough and solitary time for most students, but for art students who require studio time for their
practice, it was especially trying.
Today, she works as an ultrasonic welder, helping to build full pressure suits for NASA and the
Air Force. DCCI of Worcester, her employer, has played an important role in air and space
protective equipment design, development, and manufacture since 1941.
Ultrasonic welding is a solid state welding process using high frequency ultrasonic vibrations
and pressure to create a weld, usually on soft plastics or fabrics. This process is used to make
airtight components of pressure suits. The work is precise, as lives depend on her accuracy.
“The best preparation I could have had for this job was Montserrat,” Bleau says. “A big
advantage was working as a safety monitor for the sculpture department. The protocols I learned
gave me the edge. My background with tools and machinery helped a lot, along with my problem
Although nervous when she began, Bleau leaned on what she learned and allowed her skills and
confidence to grow. She started her position as a temp, but was hired soon after as her
supervisors began to trust her work.
Zoie’s delight in her job is palpable. She is now living in Worcester and maintains relationships
with both professors and alumni. She said she is happy and feels the stability that a career and a
To other students, her advice is “Pay attention, you never know what skills or lessons are going
to help you in your future; even the small details can be important. Also, don’t stop trying or you
will do a disservice to yourself as an artist and a human.”
And of her own future, she says, “I want to stay in the aerospace field. I couldn’t have thought I
would be doing this, but I love it. I was made for this, after all, my middle name is Star.”
Montserrat College of Art is a private, residential college of visual art educating the designers,
artists, entrepreneurs for a rapidly changing world that requires creative solutions to new
challenges. At the intersection of art, design and technology, the college offers three international
programs, 12 concentrations and a required internship program. Montserrat alumni are employed
by some of the country’s biggest brands including Disney, Puma, Hasbro and more. Students
earn the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and develop their skills for success in today’s growing
creative economy. The college also offers year-round classes for youth, teens and adults through
its Continuing Education Division, and has four public galleries offering year-round, free,
exhibitions and lectures. Montserrat is “Where Creativity Works.” www.montserrat.edu
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