Perform better geotechnical numerical analysis

The first course in the COGAN (Competency in Geotechnical Analysis) e-learning series
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  • Lectures 18
  • Contents Video: 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 4/2015 English

Course Description

This course teaches you the decision-making process when setting up a geotechnical numerical model as well as how to add structural elements in soil-structure interaction problems appropriately. It is the first software-neutral e-learning course in this field and is aimed at novice users of the software in both academia and industry.

The first section contains 13 lectures structured in the normal sequence of setting up a geotechnical numerical model, from planning the analysis to reporting the results at the end. The first six lectures focus on setting up the model geometry including rationalising the geometry, the 2D plane strain and axisymmetric assumptions, boundary conditions and mesh generation. This is followed by a self-test quiz with feedback provided on your answers. Another seven lectures then follow covering the input parameters that need to be provided including constitutive model selection and setting up the initial state and subsequent construction stages. We end with the important stages of validating the analysis results and presenting the input and output data in a report. These lectures are also followed by a self-test quiz.

The second section contains 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.

What are the requirements?

  • You need to have a good background knowledge of soi and/or rock mechanics and geotechnical engineering.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Define the aims of a geotechnical numerical model
  • Develop the geometry of an analysis model and apply appropriate simplifications
  • Set up appropriate initial states and construction stages
  • Select appropriate models and parameters to simulate ground behaviour
  • Select appropriate groundwater and drainage conditions
  • Judge whether analysis outputs are reasonably accurate
  • Select appropriate elements and material models for structures

What is the target 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.

What you get with this course?

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Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Setting Up a Geotechnical Numerical Model
09:53

After viewing this lecture you should be able to:

  • Prioritise the features of an analysis in order to meet the analysis needs
  • Compose a list of aims of each analysis model
  • Identify the strengths, weaknesses, assumptions and limitations of an analysis program
  • Organise the analysis process.

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

10:58

After viewing this lecture you should be able to:

  • Apply appropriate simplifications to the analysis geometry to speed the analysis process without significantly affecting outputs
  • Judge whether a simplified numerical model is adequate to meet the needs of an analysis
The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.
09:08

After viewing this lecture you should be able to:

  • Illustrate the 3D projection of the 2D plane strain and axisymmetric geometrical assumptions.
  • Select appropriate geometrical assumptions in order to complete an analysis effectively

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

07:20

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Locate boundaries to the analysis model at appropriate distances from the area of interest in order to eliminate any false boundary effects.
The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.
05:22

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Apply appropriate boundary conditions to the analysis model.

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

05:55

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Create a mesh suitable for all stages of the analysis, sufficiently fine in critical areas and with good aspect ratio and gradation.
  • Select appropriate element types, including interface elements where necessary

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

10 questions

Test your knowledge after viewing Lectures 1 to 6

03:56

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Prioritise the important characteristics of soil and rock behaviour for particular applications
  • Combine site investigation and characterisation test results with the aims of the analysis to justify constitutive model selections

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

07:58

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Set up appropriate initial stress by direct specification or initiation of gravity switch-on
  • Explain the importance of setting up initial stresses correctly

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

07:20

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Recognise the influence of the construction methods on the numerical model
  • Create construction stages in an analysis model that adequately capture the important aspects of the true construction sequence
  • Assess the effect of compaction of soil and the ways to model it in a simplified manner

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

09:24

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Give examples of situations where a large strain or updated mesh formulation would be required
  • Select appropriate drainage conditions (drained, undrained, consolidation) for each ground type for each construction stage
  • Select appropriate groundwater levels, pressures and flow conditions based on site investigation information and any anticipated changes

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

04:49

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Choose appropriate solution methods and convergence requirements
  • Resolve convergence problems in non-linear analyses appropriately

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

03:07

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Illustrate the expected dominant stress path of the problem being considered
  • Improve a numerical model in response to early outputs
The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.
04:35

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Prepare a report presenting an analysis model for both internal and external use
  • Develop recommendations for design based on numerical analysis results
The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.
10 questions

Test your knowledge after viewing Lectures 7 to 13

Section 2: Structural Elements
07:48

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Select appropriate element types to represent structural elements
  • Sketch typical beam, membrane and plate elements showing degrees of freedom
  • Use beam, membrane and plate elements effectively for appropriate idealisations of components and structures
  • Justify the appropriateness of a beam, membrane, plate or shell idealisation for any analysis

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

08:03

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Compare plane strain, axisymmetric and 3D representations of structural elements
  • Determine appropriate structural material parameters for plane strain and axisymmetric geometrical assumptions
  • Convert plane strain and axisymmetric structural element outputs correctly back to their true 3D values

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

07:19

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Recognise the significant influence of connection details on the overall stiffness of structural elements
  • Illustrate the effects of thermal expansion on structural behaviour
  • Assess the effect of equivalent node force approximations of arbitrary load arrangements on outputs from structural elements
  • Design connections between different element types in an appropriate way
  • Take into account the effect of infinite stresses when interpreting output from structural elements

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

08:54

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Describe plain concrete, reinforced concrete and pre-stressed concrete
  • Choose a modelling strategy to represent steel reinforcement
  • Decide whether crack modelling is required when simulating concrete structures
  • Sketch a typical yield surface for concrete in biaxial stress space
  • Simulate static fluid concrete bodies for the purposes of modelling installation effects

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

06:37

At the end of this lecture you should be able to:

  • Choose a modelling strategy to represent steel structural elements
  • Explain the effect of relative stiffness on soil-structure interaction behaviour
  • Describe the importance of geometrical effects when modelling the plastic bending of sheet piles

The text of the commentary can be downloaded below to facilitate its translation, if required.

8 questions

Test your knowledge after viewing the Section 2 lectures on Structural Elements

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Instructor Biography

The main aim of this project which is funded by the European Union's Lifelong Learning Programe and by the project partners is to improve competency in geotechnical numerical analysis.

This will be achieved through 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.

Two E-Learning Modules on the Udemy platform for work-based learning, to achieve in depth the learning outcomes in the two key areas of setting up a geotechnical numerical model and using structural elements.

The course tutor is the coordinator of the COGAN Project, Dr Andrew Lees. He is Director of the geotechnical analysis consultancy Geofem Ltd and Assistant Professor of geotechnical engineering at Frederick Univeristy in Cyprus. He has extensive experience of both the application and teaching of geotechnical numerical analysis.

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