SoilModels has been established as “soilmodels.info project” during September 2007 meeting of ALERT association in Aussois, France, by a group of internationally recognized researchers in the field of constitutive modelling in geomechanics by the following Letter to the Editor of the International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics:
G. Gudehus, A. Amorosi, A. Gens, I. Herle, D. Kolymbas, D. Mašín, D. Muir Wood, R. Nova, A. Niemunis, M. Pastor, C. Tamagnini, and G. Viggiani (2008). The soilmodels.info project. International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 32(12):1571-1572.
These researchers recognized that, although significant progress in the field of soil material modelling in the last 50 years, there are difficulties in propagating advanced models into daily geotechnical practice. In fact, most widely used constitutive model (Mohr-Coulomb) has been established back in 1901 and even Modified Cam-clay model (developed in 1968) is often considered as an advanced model in numerical simulations in practice. They felt that the way to escape from this predicament was to generate a freely available database of constitutive models, which enabled any researcher or potential user to choose the models that appear suitable for solving the problem with which they are confronted and to compare the capabilities of these models without having to expend any effort in their implementation.
Success of the project was partial, as you can see from this presentation from 15th ECSMGE conference in 2011. There was reasonable interest in models from the soilmodels.info website throughout academia and practice, but, to the surprise of the founders, interest of academia to provide advanced model implementation has been rather mild. In fact, most contributions came from the research groups developing hypoplasticity models. This helped to promote these models, but did not stimulate comparison of various modelling approaches, as originally planned by the project founders.
SoilModels : Hub for Geotechnical Professionals
In 2017, after ten years of soilmodels.info existence, the Coordinators evaluated its impact and thought about the next step to propagate advanced models into daily geotechnical practice. We understood that availablility of the model implementations does not guarantee their practical success, as proper application of these models still requires advanced expertise, which is often not available to geotechnical companies. Thus, the website has completely been redesigned (this is how the original site looked like) and moved to the new domain soilmodels.com. It keeps its original purpose of sharing material model implementation. In addition, it becomes a platform to connect advanced geotechnical professionals, which can be searched and contacted by practicing companies who need support with advanced geotechnical modelling. The new SoilModels website has the following main functionalities:
- FREE SOFTWARE menu item links to pages where users can find free geotechnical software, such as constitutive model implementations, calibration software and interfaces between various finite element code model formats. Note that SoilModels Members only (free registration is available here) are eligible for software download.
- Two membership levels are introduced: “Members” and “Consultants”. Anyone registering to SoilModels becomes a Member automatically. Members can download software and contribute to discussions in our open Forum, both as post authors and as commenters of existing posts. Members are shown on the map in the Members Directory, but they can not be contacted through the SoilModels interface. Any Member can optionally hide his/her profile from the Members Directory using Privacy tab under account settings.
- Members can apply to upgrade to “Consultant” status. Only geotechnical professionals who can demonstrate their expertise in one of the fields of geotechnical engineering are eligible for SoilModels Consultant status, the application is evaluated by the Soilmodels.info Panel of Coordinators. Once approved, they appear in the Consultants Directory where they can be searched by various filter and search criteria. They can also be contacted by registered users (of both Member and Consultant status) using the SoilModels contact form (their email address is not revealed to the users). Any Consultant can optionally hide his/her profile from the Consultants Directory and/or disable contact forms using Privacy tab under account settings.
Note that the software available at SoilModels and our consultant database comes without any formal warranty and SoilModels cannot be held liable for any losses caused by using products and information available thereof. Development of the website has partially be funded by the project TACR TA04031603.