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Competency in Geotechnical Analysis

NAFEMS were pleased to be the co-ordinator for the COGAN – Competency in Geotechnical Analysis European project.

The main aim of this Leonardo da Vinci European Transfer of Innovation project was to follow on from the exceptional work done during the CCOPPS and EASIT2 projects, but with the focus being on the geotechnical industry.

Modern geotechnical design (in common with other industry sectors) is increasingly reliant on engineering analysis. However such techniques are barely covered in a university education (Potts, 2003) and concerns persist surrounding inappropriate use of analysis tools by untrained staff, as demonstrated by benchmark studies (e.g. COST Action C7) and previous needs analyses (FENET, EASIT).

The construction industry employed an estimated 148 million in the EU-27 in 2007, generating €562 billion (NACE Rev.1.1). In order to face competition, particularly from emerging economies, the European construction industry must compete on a knowledge basis, in accordance with the Lisbon goal. Given that engineering analysis lies at the leading edge of knowledge in design, it is vitally important that engineers acquire the skills to make effective use of such tools. The EASIT project ( and benchmark studies have identified the geotechnical sector as having a particular need for training in engineering analysis. This COGAN proposal directly aimed at addressing this need.

The goal was to transfer the innovative outputs from the highly successful CCOPPS project including its work-based e-Learning modules, and EASIT project ( including its competency framework, to the geotechnical sector of the construction industry. 

The project was executed by a strong EU-wide partnership managed by NAFEMS - a unique not-for-profit company membership organization (& key EASIT member) with sound experience of such projects, and comprising a university and 6 industry partners engaged in engineering analysis in the construction sector.

The main outcomes from COGAN - all firsts for geotechnical analysis – include:

  • An Educational Base to direct staff development, consisting of around 1000 Statements of Competence in about 15 topic areas, adapted from the EASIT Educational Base;
  • A Competence Framework utilising the EASIT generic framework, built around the Educational Base, to allow formal recording of competence achievement, with links to wider professional/company competence frameworks;
  • Two E-Learning Modules for work-based learning, to achieve in depth the learning outcomes in two selected core competencies, and to promote the development of further modules by training providers.
  • The valorisation strategy, which targets training providers in Europe, together with the adoption of all deliverables by NAFEMS – a leading training provider in engineering analysis in Europe – will ensure that the project will have a significant and lasting impact on training systems in the European geotechnical sector, and potentially in the wider construction industry.

Project Partners

Geofem Ltd.
Mott MacDonald Limited
Technische Universität Graz
Skanska Sverige AB
EnginSoft Spa
Wesi Geotecnica Srl

Leonardo da Vinci Project