Risk and Reliability Analysis in Geotechnical Engineering
Brief Description
The Risk and Reliability Analysis in Geotechnical Engineering workshop is ideal if you are seeking to expand your knowledge of and skills in reliability analysis techniques as civil engineering or engineering geology practitioner. Analysis techniques in geotechnical engineering typically estimate the collapse load or factor of safety applicable to a boundary value problem, but does not provide information on the probability of failure. This workshop addresses and equips you with appropriate techniques for the calculation of the probability of failure as this is often (more so than the actual factor of safety) of critical importance to engineers and their clients.
Learning Outcomes
After successfully completing this course, you should
Have a basic understanding of the statistical principles of reliability including
  • an ability to plot probability density functions from data
  • knowledge and understanding of the normal, log-normal, uniform and exponential distributions
  • an ability to determine probabilities from abovementioned distributions
  • understanding of the importance of correlation
  • understanding of the principle behind a performance function
  • ability to determine probabilities of failure from normally distributed capacity and demand functions
  • understanding of the concept of a reliability index and how it relates to the probability of failure
Have an understanding and be able to apply the Point Estimate Method, including
  • understanding how moments represent the properties of a statistical distribution
  • understanding how a probability distribution can be represented by a system of point estimates
  • determination of moments (and hence expected values, variances and probabilities) from point estimates
  • application of the PEM to problems of one, two and three and multiple random variables
Have an understanding and be able to apply the Monte Carlo Analysis Method, including
  • generation of sets of random numbers with specified statistical distributions and correlations
  • implementation of the technique in a spreadsheet or computer program
  • determination of the required number of analysis steps to obtain a convergent solution
Have a basic understanding and be able to apply the FORM optimisation technique for the determination of reliability, including
  • understanding how the probability density of a performance function can be represented in multi-variate space
  • expression of the reliability index for multi-variate problems using the Hasofer-Lind method
  • implementation of the FORM technique in a spreadsheet and applying the solver function to solve practical multi-variate reliability problems.
Postgraduates students registered for the Honours Degree in Geotechnical Engineering are required to attend the course and pass the examination for Analytical Soil Mechanics SGS 787. There is no formal evaluation of other course attendees.
Course Content
  • An overview of basic statistical principles and reliability relevant to the course
  • The Point Estimate Method
  • Monte Carlo Analysis
  • FORM optimisation technique for reliability analysis
Entry Requirements
Prospective delegates should ideally hold a degree in civil engineering or engineering geology. Undergraduate knowledge of soil mechanics and statistics is recommended.

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Course Number:
Catalogue and Category:
Engineering and Technology Management
Who Should attend:
This course is ideal for you if you are
  • an Honours student in Geotechnical Engineering (civil engineers and engineering geologists)
  • a civil engineering and engineering geology practitioner who has completed undergraduate courses in soil mechanics, with some knowledge of statistics and you would like to expand your knowledge
  • an engineer and engineering geologist from industry who wishes to expand their background in reliability analyses, and
  • an engineer who does not necessarily satisfy the academic requirements to be admitted to the Honours Degree programme.
Delivery Mode:
Contact Sessions
Contact Days: