Teaching

Fall Semester

Computational Geomechanics (Civil-423)

The goal of this course is to introduce the student to modern numerical methods for the solution of coupled & non-linear problems arising in geo-mechanics / geotechnical engineering.

The course focuses on quasi-static deformation of fluid-infiltrated porous media, elastic and inelastic behavior under small-strain assumption, and the associated numerical algorithms.

The course is divided in 2 modules. The first module focuses on linear poro-elasticity. During that part, the students will use a Matlab library of finite element routines to script the numerical solution of such type of coupled multiphysics initial boundary value problems. Both verification tests examples as well as practical industry inspired problems (fluid storage at depth, flow around tunnels, aquifer discharge, consolidation problems etc.) will be investigated.

The second module focuses on the numerical solution of non-linear problems, more specifically in relation to irreversible plastic geo-material behavior as well as the non-linear behavior of interfaces (e.g. fractures, joints). The coupling with structural elements & reinforcements (anchors etc.) will also be covered. The theory behind different type of numerical algorithms will be studied during the lectures. Illustrative engineering examples (dams, excavations, retaining walls, waste storage, tunnels etc.) will be investigated using commercial solvers (e.g. Optum G2). Here again the importance of code verification and sound analysis of numerical results will be emphasized.

Course organization

4 hrs per week (4 Credits): 2 hours lectures  / 2 hours exercises (computer based)

Evaluation during the semester

The course book entry can be found here

Spring Semester

Geotechnical Engineering (Civil-306)

Foundations, excavations in soil, retaining walls, limit analysis, geotechnical design etc.

Course organization

5 hrs per week (5 Credits): 3 hours lectures  / 2 hours exercises

Final written exam

The course book entry can be found here

Semester Projects

We offer several semester projects for master students & third year bachelor, notably:

  • Imaging of fractures and defect via acoustic imaging (lab)
  • Modeling of fracture propagation in geo-materials
  • Numerical limit analysis for geotechnical design
  • Modeling/monitoring of surface deformation induced by fluid injection/withdrawal
  • Misc Topics in geo-mechanics & geotechnical engineering (come & talk to us)

Final Master projects

Do not hesitate to contact us if you are willing to do your final master project  on a topic related to geo-engineering (EPFL student only). Currently, we offer the following projects:

  • Integrated design of a geothermal power-plant
  • Multi-stage fracturing of horizontal wells for natural gas production
  • Linking ground surface deformation measurements to sub-surface reservoir pore-pressure changes
  • Induced seismicity – from injection design to structural risk (in collaboration with EESD lab)
  • Come & talk to us – others projects are possible