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Short Courses

Sunday, July 23

Full Day Course

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Quantitative Risk Assessment in Geotechnical Engineering

Instructor: Vaughan Griffiths

The morning section of this full day short course starts with an Introduction to Risk Assessment in Geotechnical Engineering (1.5 hours) followed by an Introduction to Random Variables (1.5 hour). The afternoon section covers Simple Tools for Probabilistic Analysis (1.5 hours) followed by More Advanced Tools for Probabilistic Analysis (1.5 hours) and ending with a Question and Answer session. The morning section covers the fundamentals of loads and resistances, basic probability theory, set theory and Venn diagrams, in addition to conditional probability, total probability theorem, and Bayes’ theorem. It also covers random variables (RVs), common probabilistic density functions, identities relating to expectation and variances, covariance and correlation, and example calculations for linear functions. The afternoon session is focused on simple tools for probabilistic analysis such as the First Order Second Moment (FOSM) and First Order Reliability Method (FORM) methods. Examples of earth pressure and bearing capacity are used to illustrate FOSM and FORM, respectively. This is followed by more advanced probabilistic analysis tools that include Monte-Carlo (M-C) methods and the Random Finite Element Method (RFEM). For M-C methods, the same bearing capacity example will be repeated. For the RFEM method, Software demos of settlement and slope stability analysis will be given.

Half Day Course

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Risk-Informed Decisions in Geotechnical Engineering

Instructors: Bob Gilbert and Gregory Baecher

Geotechnical engineers make decisions every day. So do engineers who collaborate with geotechnical engineers, constructors who work with them, owners who use geotechnical services, insurers who provide professional liability insurance, and regulators. Engineering decisions share two characteristics. First, outcomes from these decisions have consequences, both bad and good. Second, the outcomes are uncertain. Risk-informed decision making is a formal approach to organize, structure, communicate, and support decisions that have uncertain consequences. The goal for this short course is to describe methods available to practitioners to produce engineering solutions that are effective and innovative in managing risk. The methods are demonstrated with case histories and aim at answering the following questions (1) what are the risks associated with a project and how are they best managed? (2) how do we demonstrate that a new method or technology will not add risk? (3) is more site characterization warranted? (4) can the quality assurance/quality control plan be improved? (5) what is the value of the observational method during and after construction? and (6) how can risk be reasonably shared among stakeholders?


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