Posted in STADYN

Why the STADYN Project is Being Discontinued

It’s time to make the announcement: the STADYN (finite element computer program for static and dynamic analysis of driven piles during and after installation) Project is being discontinued.  I’ll try to be brief about this.

Reasons why it’s being discontinued:

  • Neither the institution I teach at nor the FHWA have any interest in this topic.  So funding is unlikely.
  • The sudden shift to online instruction has forced me to focus my attention on getting all of my content online, done for my Fluid Mechanics Laboratory course, currently in progress with my Foundations course but also probably with my Soil Mechanics Course.
  • As was the case with the original wave equation program and the inverse effort, to get to a better solution is going to require a major, sustained effort, and given the current tendency for research to be piecemeal, that’s unlikely in this country for the foreseeable future.

Some observations:

  • This project was never intended to be the “end-all” of this topic, although it’s probably the last time that a 3D model is developed “from scratch” for this problem.  It was intended to inspire others with better numerical and programming skills to take this to a higher level.
  • One of my colleagues characterised this as “overly ambitious.”  I would agree with that given the resources committed to the project.  On the other hand, I’m sure that many thought E.A.L. Smith was the same with his wave equation analysis.
  • My plans are to concentrate on my online educational activities, and also topics that are more pile driving equipment related.  Putting my course lectures on YouTube is a big part of that.  The TAMWAVE project needs a revision to incorporate some of the improvements suggested by my research into STADYN.  Stay tuned.
  • I think that, sooner or later, this problem will be solved, and pile dynamics will be performed with a model using the same basic concept as STADYN.  I doubt, however, that this model will first be developed and made practical in the U.S..  There are just too many obstacles, some regulatory, others simply reflecting the state of deep foundations here, that mitigate against that.  That is a tragedy, but sad to say it’s one that will be repeated in other fields with growing frequency.

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