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. A website has been created along with the project announcement.
In 2017, after ten years of soilmodels.info existence, SoilModels website has been completely redesigned and its mission broadened. SoilModels is now a platform aimed at promoting the use of advanced geotechnical modelling techniques in daily geotechnical practice. It provides, free of charge, tools supporting modelling workflow of geotechnical engineer, starting with selection of appropriate material model, its parameter determination (including fully automatic calibration tool), providing model plugins for various finite element packages and providing a platform to discuss potential issues with other members of SoilModels community. To fulfill its mission, SoilModels provides the following main functionalities:
First, users can select appropriate material model from the Constitutive Models Database. Constitutive models, which are either fully docummented, or whose implementation is available including the source code, are eligible for listing in SoilModels database.
Subsequently, users can calibrate the model using software from Calibration Software Database to find simulation parameters or to simply test whether it provides sufficiently good predictions considering the purpose. SoilModels provides for its users fully automatic calibration tool, along with other element test drivers for manual calibration.
Each constitutive model profile page contains list of Finite Element Codes offering this model. These models may be either available internally in the code, or through user-defined plugins, available to SoilModels users for free download.
Finally, SoilModels provides a platform for discussing advanced modelling techniques and other profession-relevant topics with other members of the community. SoilModels is a membership site with two membership levels: Members and Consultants. Anyone registering to SoilModels becomes a Member after account approval, can post into the open Forum and download software codes. Any Member account is automatically upgraded to Consultant status once the Member profile card is fully completed. Consultants can be contacted privately through the soilmodels interface by other Members of the community.