Course detail

Mathematical Modeling of Geotechnical Constructions

FAST-CF053Acad. year: 2019/2020

The content of the course is mainly focused on the solving the geotechnical constructions using mathematical modeling (finite element method). In the first part of the course, basics of continuum mechanics will be repeated. Emphasis is put on a description of soil constitutive modes, starting with the simplest elastic models, continuing with more complicated models involving plastic (irreversible) component of deformation. In the following part of the course, students will be familiar with process of creating a mathematical model both from a theoretical and practical point of view. Acquired knowledge will be applied in order to solve particular geotechnical constructions (shallow foundations, deep foundations, earth retaining structures, embankments, cuts, underground structures) using Plaxis 2D software. In the last part of the course, student will prepare and present term projects.


Institute of Geotechnics (GTN)

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Main output is acquiring knowledge build-up of mathematical model selected geotechnical problems (slope stability, reinforcement soil, retaining wall and tunnel). It means definition the boundary conditions, selection constitutional models etc. The selected themes are educated on the concrete examples using software on the Department of Geotechnics.


Soil mechanics, Foundation Engineering, Underground structures, Elasticity and plasticity.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

Not applicable.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Not applicable.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Not applicable.

Language of instruction


Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

1. Introduction, basic aspects and reasons of applying numerical methods in geotechnics, examples of practical applications.
2. Continuum mechanics – summarization, review of numerical methods.
3. Introduction to the finite element method.
4. Review of soil constitutive models. Linear, non-linear elasticity.
5. Introduction to the plastic behavior of geomaterials.
6. Ideally plastic constitutive models.
7. Elastic – plastic constitutive models with hardening.
8. Theory and modeling of earth retaining structures I (gravity walls, cantilever embedded walls).
9. Theory and modeling of earth retaining structures II (propped, anchored walls, reinforced earth walls).
10. Undrained versus drained analysis, consolidation analysis.


To obtain theoretical basics of the mathematical modelling of geotechnical problems.
To learn to utilise selected software for design of geotechnics structures.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Extent and forms are specified by guarantor’s regulation updated for every academic year.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme N-P-E-SI (N) Master's

    branch S , 2. year of study, winter semester, 5 credits, optional

  • Programme N-K-C-SI (N) Master's

    branch S , 2. year of study, winter semester, 5 credits, optional

  • Programme N-P-C-SI (N) Master's

    branch S , 2. year of study, winter semester, 5 credits, optional

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


26 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer