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Geotechnical Analysis - Modelling Structural Elements

Geotechnical Analysis - Modelling Structural Elements

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This is the second of two courses hosted on the NAFEMS learning hub on Geotechnical analysis. The first course, "Setting Up a Geotechnical Analysis", focusses on the decision-making process when setting up a geotechnical numerical model. The second course covers how to add structural elements in soil-structure interaction problems appropriately. Both courses are software-neutral and are aimed at novice users of the software in both academia and industry. It is suggested that the "Setting Up a Geotechnical Analysis" is completed prior to tackling the

The course consists of five lectures on modelling structural elements, including the different element types and modelling concrete and steel materials. There is also a worked example on deriving input parameters and interpreting output for structural elements in plane strain and axisymmetric models.

All the lectures use videos with 3D graphics and a commentary by our tutor to illustrate many of the complex geometrical concepts that are explained in this course in an engaging way.

On completing this course you will be able to prepare geotechnical numerical analyses more confidently, avoiding many of the common errors of novice users. You will gain valuable skills in geotechnical numerical analysis – a method whose use in geotechnical design is growing rapidly.

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1. Structural element types

8 minutes

2. Plane strain and axisymmetric structural elements

8 minutes

3. Connections, equivalent forces and singularities

7 minutes

4. Concrete structural elements

9 minutes

5. Steel structural elements

7 minutes

Structural Elements Quiz





Course audience

  • This is a practical, introductory course to geotechnical numerical analysis intended for new and inexperienced users of such software both in industry and in academic study.
  • This course is not likely to be suitable for experienced users of geotechnical numerical analysis, nor for other fields of numerical analysis.

Course Author

The course author is Dr Andrew Lees. He is Founder of the geotechnical analysis consultancy Geofem Ltd and Global Application Technology Manager at Tensar, a Division of CMC. He has extensive experience of both the application and teaching of geotechnical numerical analysis

The COGAN Project

The COGAN project funded by the European Union's Lifelong Learning Programe aims to improve competency in geotechnical numerical analysis. Information on the COGAN project including a listing of all project partners is available at on the COGAN project webpage.

This project had two main deliverables.

  • The COGAN Competency Tracker which is an online database of around 500 competency statements describing what you need to know to perform geotechnical numerical analysis. This software will provide links to learning resources to help you gain competences and will also allow you to record achievement of competences. The COGAN Competency Tracker is available to NAFEMS members and can added to the Standard NAFEMS PSE Competency Tracker.
  • Two on-demand training modules.