TGB4260 - Numerical Modelling for Rock Engineering


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Approved report
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Approved report 100/100 A

Course content

Numerical modelling in geomechanics, in 2D and 3D.

Lectures: Lectures introduce students to the theory of numerical methods used in rock mechanics today, with applications in tunnel engineering, geothermal engineering, mining engineering, and nuclear waste disposal. In addition to building a solid theoretical foundation for exercises, more practical topics such as types and use of boundary conditions, in-situ stresses, material modelling etc are covered.

Exercises: Practical use of RS2 for 2D elastic and plastic modelling, and EX3 for 3D elastic modelling. Model construction, input parameters, computation, result analysis, post-processing and reporting. Simulation of rock excavation, in situ rock stress and rock support. Other types of relevant programs may be also used in the course.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: Students will acquire basic knowledge about techniques of numerical modelling in rock engineering.

Skills: Students will be capable of using RS2 and EX3 programs for simulation of tunnel excavation, in situ rock stress, rock failure, jointed rock, and rock support.

General expertise: - Students will have solid understanding of theory of numerical methods that are used in the industry today.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, exercises, and project assignment.

Lectures: Ca.13 weekly lectures à 2 h in the semester. Lectures will cover basic principles of numerical modelling in geomechanics, and basic theory of numerical methods used in the exercises and  beyond (finite-element method, boundary-element method, discrete-element method, finite-difference methods, hybrid methods, coupled models). Students receive course material for self-study. Lectures are held in English or Norwegian.

Exercises: Ca.13 weekly exercise sessions à 2 h in the semester. 5-6 mandatory assignments during the course for group work. Assignments target specific aspects of numerical modelling with finite-element method (program RS2) and boundary-element method (program EX3), incl. the use of material models, initial in-situ stresses, and boundary conditions. Assignments make use of material covered in lectures and in classroom exercises. Exercises are held in English or Norwegian.

A project assignment will be given to each student for individual work and report. The report is the basis for the final grade in the course. The report is in English.

The course is evaluated by a reference group.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

The final grade in the course is based on an individual project with submission of project report.

Specific conditions

Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

TMA4100 Calculus 1, TMA4105 Calculus 2, GEOL1007 Solid Mechanics for Geologists or TKT4126 Mechanics, and TGB4210 Rock and Soil Mechanics, Basic Course.

Course materials

1. Ottosen N. & Pettersson H. Introduction to the finite element method. Pearson. 1992. (All chapters except 14, 17, 18.)

2. Jing L. (2003) A review of techniques, advances and outstanding issues in numerical modelling for rock mechanics and rock engineering. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 40 (3): 283-353:

3. On-line documentation for RS2, EX3, RockData and other relevant programs.

4. Additional articles placed on Blackboard and linked to the specific exercises.

More on the course



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


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2021

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Rock Mechanics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Geoscience and Petroleum


Examination arrangement: Approved report

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Approved report 100/100 A





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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