TBA4116 - Geotechnical Engineering, Advanced Course


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 100/100 4 hours

Course content

The course focuses on practical application of the finite element method in geotechnical engineering with emphasis on problem definition, input parameters and evaluation of results. Various elasto-plastic material models for soils are described, discussed and applied. The students shall in exercises run advanced numerical simulatioons of soil structure interaction. The exercises cover simulations of laboratory tests for parameter determination, embankments on soft ground, foundations and supporting structures. Seepage, consolidation and time dependent settlements are included. The course aim for using advanced digital tools.

Learning outcome


The course aims to strengthen the theoretical platform, perform advanced numerical analyses and provide insight for solving practical geotechnical problems.

The candidate should have knowledge of:

  • Performing advanced finite element simulations for geotechnical design
  • Understanding soil structure interaction
  • Dealing with coupled analysis of groundwater flow, excess porepressures and deformations over time.
  • Evaluating slope stability using the finite element method
  • Considering the effect of creep
  • Selecting appropriate soil parameters for elastoplastic constitutive models
  • Critically evaluating and checking results from the numerical simulations, partly by application of and comparison to appropriate estimates by hand.


The candidate is able to:

  • Identify geotechnical challenges in a project and propose relevant models for design
  • Apply an advanced commercial finite element software package
  • Be aware of possibilities, limitations and pitfalls in using such software packages
  • Report results from advanced simulations

General competence

The candidate can:

  • Make sound engineering judgments with a special focus on numerical simulations in geomechanics
  • Develop sustainable solutions for our built environment
  • Compose clear presentations of the projects
  • Work in teams

Learning methods and activities

The course consists of a combination of lectures, assignments and tutoring in front of computers. The exercises shall be made by groups of two students where use of the computer-program Plaxis is essential.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

Digital exam including use of 3rd party software. If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed from written to oral.

Required previous knowledge

General knowledge of engineering mechanics and geotechnics.

Course materials

Lecture notes from the Geotechnical Group, NTNU.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
TBA4516 7.5 AUTUMN 2010
More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Technological subjects
Contact information


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home examination 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS Home examination 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

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