The adoption of Eurocode 7, which becomes mandatory in Europe in 2010, will mark a significant change in the way geotechnical design is performed. By utilizing partial factors which are normally independent of problem type, Eurocode 7 provides the engineer with a robust and flexible limit state design methodology.

However, for many engineers Eurocode 7 presents a challenge, requiring a different way of conceptualizing a geotechnical problem. With Eurocode 7, assumptions that were made implicitly before now need to be explicitly justified. This applies at both the ultimate limit state (ULS) and serviceability limit state (SLS).

  Scree Slope

A key emphasis of this course is therefore on formulating ULS analysis problems so as to facilitate clear and consistent application of the code principles, considering the design of foundations, retaining walls, slopes and combined problems.

In the course opportunity is also taken to take a fresh look at limit analysis theory and to draw out the implicit assumptions which have traditionally been made when designing against collapse, and to consider the changes required when using Eurocode 7.

The application of numerical analysis methods is then considered, with examples used to illustrate the principles embodied in Eurocode 7, and various key challenges identified.

The move to Eurocode 7 coincides with the availability to geotechnical engineers of a powerful new numerical limit analysis procedure, Discontinuity Layout Optimization (DLO). With DLO the ultimate collapse state can be established rapidly and directly, whatever the type of geotechnical stability problem being faced. The fact that the Eurocode partial factors are also independent of problem type means that DLO and Eurocode 7 work well together.

The DLO procedure is now incorporated within LimitState:GEO, an easy to use commercial software application designed specifically with Eurocode 7 in mind. A unique feature of the course is therefore a series of ‘hands on’ computer sessions using the software, which will allow participants to explore design problems in a highly visual and interactive manner.

Who should attend?

Geotechnical engineers; civil and structural engineers; those with a responsibility for, or exposure to, geotechnical design.
The course will benefit both those with some experience of Eurocode 7 and those who are new to the code. The basics of Eurocode 7 will be introduced in the first session while broader issues will be covered in later sessions.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, participants should:

• Understand how to apply Eurocode 7 Design Approach 1 (as adopted by the UK) to the design of shallow footings, retaining walls, slopes, and   combined problems, whether by hand or using numerical analysis methods.
• Understand the language of Eurocode 7 (Actions, Effects of Actions and Resistances and their interpretation).
• Be aware of the change in philosophy between existing design codes and Eurocode 7.
• Be aware of key issues which arise when applying limit analysis and limit equilibrium approaches, and also other analytical or numerical methods,   including common errors.
• Gain an understanding of the theoretical basis of the LimitState:GEO software and be able to apply it in practice to foundation, retaining wall and   slope design problems.


08:30 – 09:00    Registration
09:00 – 09:45    Introduction to Eurocode 7: simple design of foundations; Key principles of limit analysis and limit state design.
09:45 – 10:30    Correct choice of design parameters in limit analysis; Approaches to numerical analysis to Eurocode 7.
10:30 – 11:00    Tea break
11:00 – 11:30    Introduction to DLO and LimitState:GEO.
11:30 – 12:30    Computer session I: Foundation design to Eurocode 7
12:30 – 13:30    Lunch
13:30 – 14:00    Overview of Actions and Resistances; handling of water pressures.
14:00 – 15:00    Computer session II: Retaining wall design to Eurocode 7
15:00 – 15:30    Tea break
15:30 – 16:30    Computer session III: Slope stability to Eurocode 7
16:30 – 16:45    Eurocode 7: a broader perspective.
16:45 – 17:00    Closure

About the presenters

Dr Colin Smith graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first class honours degree in Engineering in 1987. He joined the Cambridge Soil Mechanics research group in the same year and completed a PhD in 1991. Following 2 years as a research associate at Cambridge he then joined the University of Sheffield in 1992 where he is now a Senior Lecturer.

He has lectured on the principles and application of Eurocode 7 for the past 10 years, focusing both on the functioning of the code and the changes in philosophy from preceding design codes.

His research and consultancy work encompasses theoretical and numerical limit analysis techniques in geotechnics, combined with physical modelling work on soil structure interaction. He is the co-developer (with Dr Matthew Gilbert) of the novel Discontinuity Layout Optimization (DLO) numerical limit analysis technique and is the author or co-author of over 65 research papers, reports and book chapters. He sits on the Editorial Advisory Panel of Geotechnique.
He is also a Director of LimitState Ltd, a company he co-founded in 2006. The company specialises in the development of novel ultimate limit state analysis and design software applications which make use of research methods developed in the University. This notably includes LimitState:GEO which will be used extensively in this course.

Dr Matthew Gilbert graduated with a first class honours degree in Civil and Structural Engineering from the University of Sheffield in 1989. Following a brief period spent with civil engineering contractor Henry Boot he returned to academia, being awarded a PhD by the University of Manchester in 1993. He then joined the University of Sheffield where he is currently a Senior Lecturer.

In 2004 he took up a prestigious 5-year EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship, focusing on the development of novel computational limit analysis and design methods for a range of target applications. He is the author or co-author of 90 research papers, reports and book chapters. In the field of limit analysis he has published papers on a wide variety of numerical techniques, including: finite element analysis, rigid block analysis, meshless methods and Discontinuity Layout Optimization (DLO). He has received awards for papers from the ICE and IStructE and currently sits on the Editorial Advisory Panel of the ICE Engineering and Computational Mechanics journal.

He is a chartered civil engineer and organisations sponsoring his research have included EPSRC, Network Rail, Buro Happold and the International Union of Railways (UIC).

He is currently the Managing Director of LimitState Ltd, a company he co-founded with colleagues in 2006 to provide engineers with access to cutting edge technology originated in academia.