ICFEP – Imperial College Finite Element Program
The Imperial College Finite Element Program, ICFEP, has been continuously developed at Imperial College under the leadership of Prof. Potts for almost 40 years, through a combination of research projects and practical applications. The ICFEP numerical team has expanded over time and now includes Prof. Zdravkovic, Dr. Kontoe, Dr. Taborda and Dr. Tsiampousi. The adoption of a systematic development strategy has resulted in a general code for geotechnical analysis with a wide range of capabilities:
- 2D and 3D geometry with linear and quadratic elements;
- bar, beam, membrane and shell elements for simulating structural components;
- zero-thickness interface elements;
- fully coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical formulation with corresponding boundary conditions;
- partial saturated water flow and soil water retention capabilities;
- fully coupled soil dynamic capabilities with corresponding boundary conditions and domain reduction facility;
- advanced elasto-plastic constitutive models for soil and structural components, including models for cyclic loading, thermoplasticity, small strain stiffness, partial saturation, rate-dependency and creep;
- assessment of factors of safety for any constitutive model.
ICFEP has been used to address some of the most challenging geotechnical engineering projects, including the stabilisation of the Tower of Pisa, the back-analysis of the Heathrow Express tunnel collapse and the failure of Carsington dam, the design of Gulfaks C gravity and Hutton TLP offshore platform foundations, the Jubilee Line extension and Heathrow Terminal 5 excavations, the prediction of tunnelling-induced ground movements due to excavation of Crossrail, the assessment of the stability of underwater slopes in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Angola, and most recently development of new design methods for offshore wind facilities. Research outputs from the application of ICFEP have been recognised by many accolades, including over 20 prizes and medals from the ICE and BGA, while the ICFEP research team has been distinguished by Imperial College in 2015 with the President’s Award and Medal for Outstanding Research Team. The software facilities are complemented by the bespoke hardware facilities and ICFEP computing laboratory.