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Numerical Methods in Geotechnics

Code: EC0120     Acronym: MNGE

Keywords
Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Geotechnics

Instance: 2018/2019 - 1S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Geotechnics Division
Course/CS Responsible: Master in Civil Engineering

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MIEC 4 Syllabus since 2006/2007 5 - 5 52,5 133

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
José Manuel Mota Couto Marques

Teaching - Hours

Lectures: 2,00
Recitations: 1,50
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Lectures Totals 1 2,00
José Manuel Mota Couto Marques 2,00
Recitations Totals 1 1,50
José Manuel Mota Couto Marques 1,50

Teaching language

Portuguese

Objectives

RATIONALE: 
Numerical methods have been playing an increasingly important role in Geotechnics. Among them the Finite Element Method (FEM) stands out by its versatility and current design practice relies on the use of commercial software based on it. It is therefore imperative, on the one hand, to explain the theoretical basis of the FEM and, in addition, to develop the required skills and judgement for its use in geotechnical applications.

OBJECTIVES:
Introduction to the application of the Finite Element Method to the analysis of geotechnical problems. The presentation of the theoretical fundamentals of the finite element method is complemented with the use of commercial programs for solving geotechnical problems.

Learning outcomes and competences

KNOWLEDGE
Define the FEM procedures for obtaining an algebraic equation system that provides an approximate numerical solution for the governing differential equations of the physical phenomenon under consideration.

UNDERSTANDING Identify the fundamental algorithmic aspects of FEM in various geotecnically oriented application areas.

APPLICATION Demonstrate the ability to apply the Finite Element Method (FEM) to solve geotechnical problems.

ANALYSIS Use FEM parametric studies to assess the relative weight of various factors on the quality/efficiency/safety/cost of the required solution.

SYNTHESIS Extract from the numerical studies clues for the optimization of the solution.

JUDGEMENT
Criticize the results obtained by FEM based on knowledge of factors affecting the quality of the solution.

ENGINEERING DESIGN COMPETENCIES 
Train the ability to deal with FEM in order to use it efficiently as a tool in geotechnical design on curricular units that develop this component.

Working method

Presencial

Pre-requirements (prior knowledge) and co-requirements (common knowledge)

PRE-REQUISITES - This curricular unit requires a solid background in Structural Analysis and Soil Mechanics. Some experience in programming is desirable. 

Program

Numerical methods and their importance in Geotechnical Engineering; General aspects of the finite element method; application fields; formulations; Finite element method in mechanical problems; two and three dimensional problems; beam elements; joint elements; finite elements; Finite element methods in material and/or geometrically non-linear problems; total or effective stress analysis; initial stress state; construction stages; excavations; landfill; constitutive laws; applications; Finite element methods in seepage problems; potential and stream function formulation; confined and unconfined seepage; applications; Finite element method in consolidation problems; applications.

DEMONSTRATION OF THE SYLLABUS COHERENCE WITH THE CURRICULAR UNIT'S OBJECTIVES:
Numerical methods have been playing an increasingly important role in Geotechnics. Among them the Finite Element Method (FEM) stands out by its versatility and current design practice relies on the use of commercial software based on it. It is therefore imperative, on the one hand, to explain the theoretical basis of the FEM and, in addition, to develop the required skills and judgement for its use in geotechnical applications.

Mandatory literature

David M. Potts and Lidija Zdravkovic; Finite element analysis in geotechnical engineering. ISBN: 0-7277-2753-2 (vol. 1)

Complementary Bibliography

Ibánez de Navarra, Eugenio Onate; Calculo de estructuras por el metodo de elementos finitos
Zienkiewicz, O. C.; The finite element method. ISBN: 0750650494 (v. 1)

Teaching methods and learning activities

The theoretical presentation of the program topics is complemented with problem solving using commercial finite element programs.

Software

Plaxis
Phase2
Geo-Slope Office

keywords

Technological sciences > Engineering > Civil engineering > Geotechnics
Technological sciences > Engineering > Simulation engineering

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Participação presencial 100,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Elaboração de relatório/dissertação/tese 28,00
Estudo autónomo 14,00
Frequência das aulas 28,00
Total: 70,00

Eligibility for exams

Achieving final classification requires compliance with attendance at the course unit, according to the MIEC assessment rules. It is considered that students meet the attendance requirements if, having been regularly enrolled, the number of absences of 25% for each of the classes’ types is not exceeded.

Calculation formula of final grade

The final grade is the average of the grades of the assignments proposed.

Observations

SPECIAL RULES FOR MOBILITY STUDENTS: Classes will be given in Portuguese; Main bibliography is in Portuguese, English and Spanish. Students should understand the Portuguese and English languages. When writing their assignments, students can use the following languages: English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Estimated time of work out of classes: 3 hours per week

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