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Guidebook aims to give model results

Improving the quality of geotechnical analysis is the aim of a new guidebook called Obtaining Parameters for Geotechnical Analysis that will be published today at the Case Histories of Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering seminar in Nottingham.

The engineering modelling organisation NAFEMS’s Geotechnical Committee published this first guidebook in a bid to help engineers better understand the need for good quality data for analysis.

“Increasingly powerful personal computers combined with user friendly numerical analysis software are giving rise to greater emphasis on numerical analysis in geotechnical design,” explained guidebook author Andrew Lees, who is also director of Geofems and assistant professor of geotechnical engineering at Frederick University Cyprus. “For the ongoing transition from empirically to numerically based design to continue engineers will need to ensure appropriate parameters are adopted. However, obtaining appropriate parameters is not just a matter of getting results from standardised tests.

“There is an over-riding need to ensure that any set of parameters adopted adequately reflect complex field behaviour. If the soil parameters are not obtained to a sufficiently high degree of accuracy then the subsequent numerical analyses will be of little value and potentially lead to the wrong design decisions.

“The main objective of this book is to provide guidance on all stages of obtaining geotechnical parameters for numerical analysis, from selecting constitutive models, to planning and specifying the site investigation, interpreting data and deriving soil parameters, and assessing the reliability of soil parameters in a numerical model.”

According to Lees, the book can be used by experienced geotechnical analysts as a reference tool for obtaining and validating geotechnical parameters, but also by novice analysts in order to develop their competences in all aspects of obtaining geotechnical parameters.

NAFEMS’ Geotechnical Committee is currently working on extending and revising the How to Undertake Finite Element Based Geotechnical Analysis guidebook that was first published in 2002.

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