LAFAYETTE - GE Aviation has named Renato Vidal plant leader at its high-profile Lafayette Engine Facility. Vidal previously served as operations leader at a GE Aviation engine overhaul facility in Brazil. A 19-year veteran of GE, Vidal succeeds Eric Matteson, who will take on a role with GE Aviation's supply chain organization.

The $110 million facility in Tippecanoe County produces CFM LEAP jet engines, which are used in commercial airplanes and, the company says, are the fastest-selling of their kind in industry history. It currently employs 150 in Lafayette, a figure that is expected to grow to 230 at full production capacity. Matteson was the plant's first employee, beginning in September of 2016.

Vidal, who holds degrees from Pontifical Catholic University in Brazil and IBMEC-Rio de Janeiro, says "I am excited about the opportunity to continue growing GE Aviation's operations in Lafayette. We have a very motivated and growing workforce in the plant, and my family and I are quickly establishing roots in the local community. We have received a very warm welcome."

Vidal has also worked at GE in Brazil as a powerplant engineer and has overseen overhaul operations at the three-shop, 500-employee GE Celma in the South American country since 2011.