220.015 Finite Difference Modelling in Geoengineering
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2022W, VU, 2.0h, 2.5EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 2.5
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Presence

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to a) formulate the ideas and concepts behind the explicit finite difference method (FDM) and the discrete-element method (DEM), b) distinguish between continuum and discontinuum mechanics, and c) use the FD-codes FLAC, UDEC, and PFC (Itasca Consulting Group) to solve geotechnical problems in the field of tunneling, slope stability, and runout (rock falls and rock avalanches).

Subject of course

1) Ideas and Concepts behind the explicit Finite Difference Method (FDM), 2) the Distinct Element Method (DEM), 3) Problem solving with FLAC (Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua), 4) Shear strength reduction technique, Factor of safety (FoS), 5) Problem solving with UDEC (Universal Distinct Element Code), 6) Basics of the Particle Flow Code (PFC), 7) Macro- and Micromechanics, 8) Inverse Modelling with unknown Microproperties

Teaching methods

Introduction to the use of the software FLAC, UDEC and PFC of the Itasca Consulting Group.
Working on exercises on the topics of slope stability, runout processes (rockfall and rock avalanche) and tunneling.

Mode of examination


Additional information

Zuordnung im Masterstudium Bauingenieurwesen (Studienkennzahl: 066 505):
Modul 2 der Vertiefungsrichtung Geotechnik;
Modul 3 der anderen Vertiefungsrichtungen



Course dates

Mon14:00 - 16:0024.10.2022Seminarraum AE U1 - 1 Grundlagen
Tue13:00 - 15:0025.10.2022Seminarraum AA 03 - 1 Kontimuumsmechanik
Mon14:00 - 16:0007.11.2022Seminarraum AA 03 - 1 Diskontinnumsmechanik
Mon14:00 - 16:0014.11.2022Seminarraum AA 03 - 1 Übung
Tue14:00 - 16:0013.12.2022Seminarraum AA 03 - 1 Q & A

Examination modalities

Presentation of an elaborated exercise example

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
27.09.2022 16:00 14.11.2022 23:00 14.11.2022 23:00


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
066 505 Civil Engineering Science Mandatory elective


Study sheets are available, these are issued at the beginning of the respective lecture.

Previous knowledge

Basic knowledge in mechanics and geology