Facoltà di Ingegneria - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)


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Metodi Numerici per la Geotecnica
Numerical Methods for Geotechnical Engineering
Evghenia Sakellariadi

Seat Ingegneria
A.A. 2016/2017
Credits 6
Hours 48
Period I
Language ENG

Solid mechanics: stress, strain, linear elasticity theory. Soil mechanics: soil description and classification; strength and compressibility. Geotechnical engineering: settlement analysis, stability of shallow foundations. Soil hydraulics, groundwater f

Learning outcomes
The course enables to acquire basic understanding of the Finite Element method, focusing on specific requirements regarding geotechnical applications studied in previous courses. Futher aspects will focus on understanding the principles and techniques of material behaviour modelling applied to soil mechanics.
Students will develop the capacity to find a solution to typical geotechnical problems using specific software, through the guided solution of targeted exercises. After course completion students will be able to effectively setup and run a finite element analysis, making all the required choices and correctly understanding and interpreting the results obtained.
In the working-out of proposed exercises, in which some typical geotechnics cases are studied through available software applications, students will learn to deal with the various aspects relative to putting theory into practice, which will enhance the capacity for making correct choices and independent learning. Communication skills will be improved through the intermediate assessment discussions, in which the student illustrates and reviews the progress of the exercises.

haracteristics of soil behaviour and modelling. Field equations for saturated porous media; seepage and consolidation. Constitutive models appropriate for soil mechanics. Numerical methods and models for solving typical geotechnics problems and interpretation of the results obtained. The Finite Element method. Verification and validation of numerical analyses. Elementary elasto-plastic constitutive models. Methods and principles for interpretation of numerical analysis results and for comparison with results obtained through traditional methods. Choice of appropriate values for geotechnical parameters to be used in numerical analyses. Finite element analysis of some typical problems (settlement and stability of foundations, seepage, consolidation).

Development of the examination
Final assessment is via an oral examination. The topics discussed vary depending upon the specific learning option chosen by the student. In the first learning option (continuous assessment) students are required to attend lectures and practical sessions and to work out the proposed exercises, discuss the results obtained and make all corrections and modifications, during term time and alongside the course advancement. These discussions of the work in progress are considered an integral part of the course. In this case the oral examination will be held immediately after the end of the lecture period and will merely consist in a sum-up discussion of the work carried out during the course. In the second learning option students must still work out the exercises proposed during the course, but may do so in their own time. In the oral examination two or three topics regarding the course subjects will be discussed. Among these may be included some aspect referring to the practical exercises. The two learning options are equivalent with regard to final assessment.

Students must demonstrate basic understanding of the Finite Element method and how an analysis for solving typical problems of geotechnical engineering should be set up. In particular they must show a good comprehension of the basic assumptions and limitations, and they must be able to make all necessary choices for setting up an analysis and be conscious of the consequences these choices have on the final results; finally, they must be capable of understanding and interpreting correctly the results obtained, and must know how to usefully compare them to the results of traditional calculation methods.

The final mark is assigned taking into consideration the degree of attainment of the following goals: -- general knowledge: the Finite Element method for typical geotechnics problems, modelling techniques and specific models for geotechnics; -- skills: setting up a FE analysis, modelling choices, interpretation of results, comparison with results obtained through traditional analysis. For students who have chosen continuous assessment a separate mark will be given for the discussion of each guided exercise introduced during the course, while the final oral exam will only serve as a confirmation. For the remaining students a separate mark will be given for each topic discussed during the exam.

The minimum grade (corresponding to a mark of 18/30) is given to students exhibiting a basic understanding of the course subjects. Higher marks reflect the amount to which students will integrate theoretical aspects discussed during the course into their work on the exercises, and will be able to independently and correctly set up a numerical analysis and comment on the results obtained. Maximum marks or the ”cum laude” credit will be assigned to students who exhibit thorough understanding and command of all course topics, a particular awareness of the implications of all analysis choices, and excellent capacity for understanding and interpreting the results obtained, expressing concepts in articulate and technically correct language. The working-out of the proposed exercises, even though a necessary condition for passing the examination, is not in itself appointed a separate mark. Likewise, producing written papers to illustrate the solution of the exercises, though useful as a learning tool and as such suitable for study enhancement, is always considered an optional activity and can convey no contribution towards the final mark.

Recommended reading
I.M. Smith and D.V. Griffiths, ”Programming the Finite Element Method”, 3rd edition, John Wiley & sons. R. Nova, ”Fondamenti di meccanica delle terre”, McGraw - Hill D.M. Wood, ”Geotechnical modelling”, Spon Press – Taylor & Francis Group D.M. Potts and L. Zdravkovic, “Finite element analysis in geotechnical engineering”, Thomas Telford GEO-SLOPE: Training and support documentation for GeoStudio products SIGMAW and SEEPW (http://www.geo-slope.com)

  • Ingegneria Civile (Corso di Laurea Magistrale (DM 270/04))

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