Geosynthetic-Reinforced Pile-Supported Embankments

by Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen and Ir. Arjan Venmans; Deltares, Netherlands

Geosynthetic-Reinforced Pile-Supported Embankments


Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen and Ir. Arjan Venmans (Deltares, Netherlands)


Sponsored By: 

  1. Geo-Institute of ASCE
  2. Geosynthetics Institute (GI)
  3. International Geosynthetics Society, (IGS)
  4. International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)
  5. Transportation Research Board, USA (TRB)



  Course Geosynthetic-Reinforced Pile-Supported Embankments  
  Course leader Dr. S.J.M. van Eekelen  
  Teachers Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen and Ir. Arjan Venmans (Deltares, Netherlands)  
  Course material Book: van Eekelen, S.J.M. and Brugman, M.H.A. (Eds).
Design Guideline Basal Reinforced Piled Embankments.
CRC Press / Balkema, ISBN 9 789053 676240. 
0 09:00 Welcome 00:05
Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen
1 09:05 Introduction 00:20
Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen
2 09:25 Geosynthetic-reinforced pile-supported embankments:
Research and new developments; basic principles,  load distribution
Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen
  10:25 Coffee break 00:20
3 10:45 Requirements and initial details of the reinforced embankment 01:00
Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen
4 11:45 Fill materials 00:25
Arjan Venmans, MSc
  12:10 Lunch 01:00
5 13:10 Design of the geosynthetic reinforcement: analytical and numerical methods 01:15
Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen
6 14:25 Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) of construction on soft soil,
comparing piled embankments with other construction types
Arjan Venmans, MSc
  15:10 Tea Break 00:20
7 15:30 Exercise:  design and optimization in practice, develop your engineering judgement 01:30
Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen and Arjan Venmans, MSc
8 17:00 Discussion, evaluation and closure 00:30
Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen and Arjan Venmans, MSc

Who should attend?

This course is ideal for those involved in the specification, analysis, design, construction, and/or study of geosynthetic-related projects. The participants may include the following from the areas of civil, mining, agricultural and aquacultural engineering:

  1. Senior undergraduate and postgraduate students
  2. Research candidates
  3. Practising engineers
  4. Specialised contractors
  5. Project managers
  6. Land developers

Official language



Biographical profile

Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen

Dr. Suzanne van Eekelen received her MSc and PhD degrees in Geotechnical Engineering from the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. She is a researcher in geotechnical engineering and an expert in the field of ground improvement, geosynthetic reinforcement and geosynthetic-reinforced pile-supported embankments. She is chairing the Dutch working groups ‘Design Guideline Geosynthetic-reinforced Piled Embankments’ and ‘Design Guideline Retaining walls and abutments of reinforced soil’.

With her co-workers, Suzanne van Eekelen has developed an analytical model for the design of the geosynthetic-reinforcement in piled embankments. This model was adopted in the ‘Design Guideline for Basal Reinforced Piled Embankments. 

Suzanne van Eekelen received the IGS Award of the International Geosynthetics Society for her research on geosynthetic-reinforced piled embankments in 2014, the Award for the best paper in Geotextiles and Geomembranes in 2012, two Honourable mentions as one of the Best Papers in Geotextiles and Geomembranes in 2011 and 2015 and the Dutch Keverling Buisman-Science award 2011.

Ir. Arjan Venmans


Arjan specializes in design, construction and maintenance of (rail)roads on soft soil, life cycle costing and sustainability. Past activities comprise development and validation of design methods for ground improvement, field-testing of innovative construction methods and waste materials, development of contract specifications, consultancy, construction supervision and maintenance planning in the fields of geotechnics, drainage and concrete pavements. Arjan developed the decision support model MRoad for the design of highways on the basis of whole life costs. At the moment, he leads the project Reliable Subsurface Modelling to integrate geotechnical, geological and geophysical knowledge into a subsurface model suitable for geotechnical design. As member of the Deltares Eco-Dynamic Design team he creates added value in infrastructure projects by applying eco-engineering solutions.

Arjan has been chairman of many national working groups for development of guidelines for construction on soft soil, and secretary of The Netherlands Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering. He is member of the CEN Technical Committee 396 on Earthworks and registered evaluator for the European Commission Research Programs. He published over 40 scientific publications, many reports and presented many lectures. As academic visitor he is teaching at the Geo-Engineering Section of Delft Technical University.