General Facts

  • Founded in January, 1997
  • Mission: Software development for the geotechnical / geoenvironmental / hydrogeological market sector
  • We currently offer 12 software programs
  • Products currently used worldwide
  • Used on major engineering projects, research and for post-secondary education programs
  • Used by many large consulting firms
  • We employ geotechnical, computer science and earth science engineers at the B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. level

Our Vision

The vision of SoilVision Systems Ltd. is to provide cutting-edge software products to geotechnical engineers, geoenvironmental engineers and hydrogeologists worldwide. We offer numerical modeling software that embraces simultaneously saturated / unsaturated soil continuum. The primary application areas are:

        1. water flow through porous media;
        2. shear strength limit equilibrium analysis with applications in slope stability, bearing capacity and lateral earth pressure;
        3. stress deformation;
        4. heat flow through unfrozen and frozen soils;
        5. air flow through unsaturated soils; and
        6. contaminant transport of chemicals through diffusion and dispersion.

Most software modules are designed to perform analyses for one-, two- and three-dimensional environments. All of our software is designed to be comprehensive and extremely robust in their application. Various application modules can be combined in either a coupled or uncoupled manner. Our finite element modeling software offers leading-edge features such as automatic mesh generation and automatic mesh refinement which greatly reduce convergence problems as well as model creation time.

The SVSOILS™ (formerly SoilVision) software was developed out of a need to better understand, manage and estimate appropriate saturated soil properties and unsaturated soil property functions. A high-quality database of previously measured soil properties, along with knowledge from experienced engineers forms the basis of the SVSOILS™ knowledge-based system. SoilVision Systems Ltd. is on the cutting edge of applying database technology to the management of soil properties and the analysis of soil processes.

Our goal is to put the satisfaction of our customers first and foremost. We are committed to constantly improving the ease-of-use and functionality of our software in response to feedback from users. We are committed to making your experience with our software satisfying and helpful.

Our Philosophy

The guiding philosophy behind our finite element products is that the modeling effort should be focused on the problem - not the finite element numerical method. Most currently available software forces the manual or semi-automatic generation of the finite element mesh. The user will often spend hours generating a finite element mesh based on geometry only to fight convergence problems because the mesh is not reference based on critical problem variables. All of our finite element products offer not only finite element mesh generation based on geometry but automatic mesh refinement based on any relevant problem variable. Because of this feature, our customers can reasonably expect a reduction in modeling effort between 50-80%.

Our History

SoilVision Systems Ltd. was formed in 1997 by Murray D. Fredlund, Ph.D. to provide high-quality software tools to meet the needs of professionals attempting to model the behavior of saturated and unsaturated soils. The pioneer product of SoilVision Systems was a knowledge-based database system also called SoilVision which aided in the estimation and storage of unsaturated soil properties. In 2016 the SoilVision product was redesigned from the ground up and rebranded as SVSOILS™ in order to avoid confusion with the corporate name of our company and to better align with our standard product naming conventions. SVSOILS™ is the first of it’s kind which allows the user to not only record laboratory results, but also estimate soil properties with theoretical methods or by using the large database of experimental soil properties for soil water characteristic curves (SWCC) on unsaturated soils. SVSOILS™ was developed based on research performed on unsaturated soils at the University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada as well as at other universities

SoilVision Systems has developed comprehensive 2D and 3D limit equilibrium slope stability analyses resulting in our world-class flagship software product SVSOILS™. We continue to enhance and develop new features in SVSOILS™ making it the clear choice for engineering professionals around the world.

Our product line has grown to include a complete suite of modules ( SVOFFICE™) developed for professionals in the geotechnical, geoenvironmental and hydrogeological fields. The software is used to quickly solve complex problems by easily performing 1D, 2D and 3D (module dependent) numerical modeling and analysis of earth structures in the areas of groundwater flow, contaminant transport, heat transfer, stress / deformation, and soil vapor extraction problems as well as a limit equilibrium slope stability. This results in a more efficient workflow, strong visuals and more reliable results. These products have already gained worldwide acceptance and created a name for themselves as world-class software. The software products created by SoilVision Systems Ltd. are used worldwide.

Dr. Fredlund's previous work experience includes involvement in the design and modeling of soil covers as well as consolidation modeling for mine sites in northern Canada and Australia. Work experience also includes seepage modeling for consulting and research-related projects as well as teaching soil mechanics classes at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon.

Professional Accreditation / Memberships

SoilVision Systems Ltd is a strong believer in fostering community and contributing to the knowledge base for our profession.

APEGS- Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan
CGS- Canadian Geotechnical Society
APEGA - Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - approved NSERC participant
STEP - Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership
CSCE - Canadian Society for Civil Engineering
DFI - Deep Foundations Institute

Frequently Asked Question

Is your Dad involved with SoilVision? Is he also involved with Geo-Slope?

I would like to respond to this question. Del Fredlund is my father. He and his brother Lorne started Geo-Slope in 1977. Lorne was trained as a "Computer Systems Analyst" and Del taught geotechnical engineering and conducted research at the University of Saskatchewan. Del's primary areas of research involved slope stability analysis, numerical modeling and unsaturated soil mechanics. Del realized that solving unsaturated soils problems involved the solution of highly nonlinear partial differential equations that defined the physical processes in the unsaturated soils. Practical geotechnical engineering solutions required the capabilities of a digital computer and appropriate software packages. This realization motivated him to start the Geo-Slope software company. Research work from various countries of the world made it clear that special computational techniques would be required for the solution of unsaturated soils problems."

Del Fredlund was directly involved with the original development of the PC-Seep (which later became Seep/W) and the Slope-II (PC-SLOPE, later known as Slope/W) software packages, starting in 1977."

Through mutual understanding, Del and Lorne sold their shares in Geo-Slope during the 1990s. In the late 1990s, I decided that there was a 'niche' for a company that concentrated on the solution of unsaturated soils problems with saturated soils problems being a simpler, special case. I had obtained my M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in unsaturated soil mechanics under the supervision of Professor Ward Wilson who had undertaken extensive research on "cover design" in unsaturated soil mechanics applications. Professor Wilson now teaches at the University of Alberta, Edmonton."

As of 2007, Del Fredlund became a part of the Advisory Board of SoilVision Systems Ltd. However, he has no financial involvement in SoilVision Systems Ltd. and presently is a Senior Geotechnical Engineering specialist at Golder Associates Ltd. in Saskatoon, Canada."

I trust that this brief explanation answers the question that I am most often asked.

Murray D. Fredlund, President
SoilVision Systems Ltd.
Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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