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Validation of Numerical Analysis in Geotechnical Engineering

A seminar for senior managers, technical reviewers and project managers in partnership with NAFEMS, the International Association of the Engineering Modelling, Analysis and Simulation Community.


Numerical analysis using finite element and finite difference methods has become a mainstream design tool within geotechnics in the last decade or so. This is due to the development of sophisticated yet accessible 2D and 3D computer programs that can realistically model the ground and adjacent structures. With increasing reliance placed on this type of complex modelling effective training in the use of this technology and effective procedures to validate the analyses are required.
This seminar will outline a framework for validation of numerical analysis.  The process will be illustrated through a number of case studies across a wide range of projects solving geotechnical challenges.
Undertaking mainstream geotechnical design with numerical methods is relatively new for the industry and senior engineers potentially unfamiliar with the methods are required to put in place structures and procedures to guide the outcome and ensure reliability of design.


The objectives of the seminar are: 

  • An overview of the validation process for numerical analysis including highlights from the new NAFEMS book ‘Validating numerical models …’
  • What to expect and what NOT to expect from finite element calculations
  • What managers of the users of finite element software need to understand
  • What project managers need to understand
  • Asking the right questions when guiding and supervising numerical analysis

Who Should Attend?

  • Senior Managers, Technical Reviewers and Project Managers who are or are considering undertaking numerical analysis
  • Stakeholders who commission geotechnical works
  • Engineers who want to have a clearer understanding of the potential benefits and pitfalls of using numerical procedures

This event has a value of 5 hours towards your CPD (As recognised by ICE, CIOB, RICS, CIBSE, IstructE).


9.45         Welcome & Introduction        
                 Peter Scott (Chair of NAFEMS Geotech Committee) 

                 First Session  - Technical Presentations 
                 Chairman, Andreas Zilles (Atkins)

                 Issues and concerns on advanced design procedures
                 Retaining Walls                
                Tony O’Brien &/or YuSheng (Motts)
                 Piled raft load test                
                 Nina Mattsson (Geos Ingénieurs Conseils)
                 FE in Geotechnical Applications             
                 Mahee Maheetharan     (Atkins)

11.45       Coffee Break    
                 Second Session – Overview of validation process 
                 Chairman, Kelvin Higgins (GCG)  
                 Validation by Managers and Reviewers    
                Ronald Brinkgreve (Delft/Plaxis)                                        

13.15      Lunch                                                                       

                Third Session – Workshop    
                Chairman, Mohamed Rouainia (Newcastle University)   

                Workshop showing the development steps in the design and areas where                   senior staff can monitor and review whether the outcome is appropriate.

                Kelvin Higgins (GCG)

                Foundation for High Rise             
               J Dewsbury/ P Scott (Buro Happold)

15.30     Coffee Break        

                Fourth Session  
                Chairman, Peter Scott (Buro Happold)

                Engaging Senior Managers                    
               Tony O’Brien (Motts)
               Open Forum – question and answer session        
               Panel – Ronald Brinkgreve, Tony O’Brien, Kelvin Higgins, Mahee

16.40     Closing Remarks    
               Peter Scott (Buro Happold)                        

16.45     Networking & reception   


CIRIA offices
Griffin Court
15 Long Lane
Map Available here


Event Type: Seminar
Location: London UK
Date: November 6, 2014

Jointly Organised by

CIRIA is the construction industry research and information association. 
As a neutral, independent, not-for-profit body, we link organisations with common interests and facilitate a range of collaborative activities that help improve the industry.
More information regarding CIRIA on their website at  

Ticket Information

This event is free for CIRIA Core and Associate members, and NAFEMS members.
This event costs £150 + VAT for non members.

Please register here today!

If you are unable to book online, please contact Patrick Williams at or tel. 0207 549 3308.