Numerical modelling with GeoMod SA

At GeoMod, we perform comprehensive numerical simulations using the finite element package ZSoil. This allows us to treat engineering problems globally and analyse geotechnical problems which are too complex for analytical solutions, taking into account physical phenomena such as time dependent soil-structure interaction. By verifying the global equilibrium of a soil-structure system, we take into account unexpected modes which are difficult or impossible to predict by analytical desk-studies.


Consulting and project assistance

High qualifications and broad professional experience allow us to work with clients who look for advanced and reliable solutions at any stage of their projects.

We specialize in:

Numerical modelling and results analysis

We perform 2D & 3D modelling of all kinds of geometry, including data preparation and post-processing of results. We offer numerical simulations with special reference to soil-structure interaction, taking into account:

  • advanced and reliable modelling of nonlinear behaviour of materials
  • stress and water field conditions
  • explicit definition of excavation and construction sequences
  • water table and water pressure under steady state or transient conditions, including time- dependent boundary conditions
  • drained and undrained soil conditions
  • two-phase continuum including the effect of partial saturation
  • material creep
  • heat transfer in soil and structures
  • geotextiles

We use the following methods:

  • steady-state or consolidation time increment approaches
  • elasto-plastic models, including nonlinear elasticity, stress history and hardening effects
  • replacement force, push-over and time history approaches for seismic verifications
  • parameter reduction-based method for stability control analyses
In our simulations we match constitutive models to correctly describe site-specific soil behaviour. To achieve this, we use and validate advanced models which represent state-of-the-art geomechanics. Models can be customized to meet specific demands of our clients.

We apply the following constitutive models (ZSOIL.PC 2012):

  • basic elasto-plastic models for soil materials such as Mohr-Coulomb, Drucker-Prager
  • multi-laminate model for layered media and schists
  • Hoek-Brown model for rock
  • advanced hardening models accounting for stress history: Cap, Modified Cam-Clay
  • advanced Hardening-Soil model which accounts for small strain stiffness (Go), soil stress history (OCR), and pre-failure plasticity (E50) - effects that are indispensible in performance-based design
  • Sawicki’s and Zienkiewicz’s liquefaction models
  • elastic and elasto-plastic models for structural elements such as beams, anchors, nails, membranes and shells
  • van Genuchten formula for soil water retention curve
  • pile macro element including bending stiffness and pile-soil interface

ZSOIL data preparation

You own ZSOIL and would like to use it to design a project? GeoMod can help you get your project on the right track: Define your problem and send it to us, we'll make a time/cost estimate for your data preparation!

Optimisation and control

Cost and time reduction is crucial in civil engineering. We help our clients achieve the best possible technical and economical performance by:

  • recommending the assessment of reliable soil parameters that are used in numerical simulations
  • performing geometric and parametric studies
  • optimising pile foundation rafts
  • optimising retaining structures

We carry out controls of geotechnical ventures before, during and after construction, including:

  • project control with the aid of advanced numerical models
  • verification of in situ measurements with numerical prediction
  • back-analysis of geotechnical parameters (updating models during construction)

Advice and Troubleshooting

For those who want to save time and money, we offer complete finite element models which can be interpreted by the clients themselves. We offer troubleshooting in Finite Element-based calculation packages, especially for ZSOIL users. We also provide assistance related to:

  • the development of finite element models
  • choice of modelling approaches
  • choice of constitutive laws
  • advanced assessment of material parameters


With our strong academic background and broad experience in teaching, we offer courses for individuals and workshops for small groups of engineers who are willing to broaden their professional experience in numerical modelling, advanced geomechanics and geotechnical engineering. Our courses are adapted to our clients’ needs and may contain the following topics:

  • Project assistance
  • Continuum and Structural Mechanics and Finite Element modelling
  • Soil-structure interaction
  • Mechanics of two-phase media
  • Push over and dynamics
  • Material constitutive models

We also give lectures in Soil machenics at EPFL, Switzerland (since 2001) and Numerics in Geotechnics & Structures for ZSoil users (since 2007).