Numerical analyses in geotechnics


Numerical analysis is a fundamental tool in many fields of engineering. In the context of geotechnical engineering, numerical models can be used effectively to support design and analyze the response of the soil and its interaction with structures and infrastructure.

The Finite Element Method (FEM) is the most widespread and reliable numerical technique for geotechnical analysis. The definition, interpretation and validation of FEM geotechnical models require specific approaches to deal with the specificity of this category of problems (e.g. choice of analysis domain, meshing rules, material non-linearities, hydromechanical coupling, soil-structure interaction ...).

The course focuses on the modeling process of geotechnical problems from design to validation. It provides a detailed analysis of the modeling steps with an extensive use of practical examples. During the course, each participant will have the opportunity to implement a series of practical tutorials in an open source FEM code to understand and apply the modeling concepts discussed.

The tutorial sessions will be complemented by the analysis of several complex case studies from international geotechnical projects.


  • Understand and analyze the ingredients of a coupled finite element analysis in a geotechnical environment

  • Be able to implement and validate FEM analyses of coupled hydromechanical problems

  • Learn, choose and calibrate the material laws best suited to the problem being analyzed

  • Understand and evaluate the uncertainties associated with modeling and become aware of potential sources of error in the simulation process.

  • Critically study practical examples of finite element analysis of complex geotechnical problems around the world


Prof. Lyesse Laloui

   École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne    

   (EPFL), Switzerland

Dr. Aldo Madaschi

   Nesol - Numerical Engineering Solutions,



  • Optimal balance between theory and practice (hands-on numerical exercises)

  • The course makes extensive use of finite element analysis to validate theoretical concepts.

  • The training is based on cutting-edge scientific achievements


The course is intended for construction professionals, civil and environmental engineers, and geologists who wish to deepen their skills in the analysis of geotechnical structures using the finite element method.

The course is delivered in English or French.



A certificate of attendance is issued at the end of the course.