Profile

Plaxis is a privately owned company incorporated in the Netherlands with its headquarters in Delft and offices in Singapore (Plaxis AsiaPac) and the USA (Plaxis Americas). We operate worldwide and have customers in nearly every country.

Our software tools and knowledge-sharing programs are used by a variety of organizations and individuals ranging from engineering and construction companies, civil and geotechnical engineering consultants, educational and research institutes to governmental organizations and applied in sectors such as geotechnics, foundation engineering, geology, underground construction, tunnel construction, hydraulic engineering, offshore engineering, mining, renewable energy, hydrology, etc.

Combining advanced geotechnical knowledge with an easy to use user interface designed by a team of software architects and programmers was and is key to the success of PLAXIS software tools.
The Plaxis-team consists of people of whom the majority has an academic degree relevant to area’s we operate in. It is a mix of many nationalities and we value and actively promote equal opportunities for all.


Network

Plaxis is a networking company; we highly value and depend on the networks we are part of.
Plaxis has its roots in the academic world dating from the eighties. From the early beginning, we at Plaxis have fostered our ties with the academic world and have increased our network ever since.

Many universities and individuals associated with universities have supported Plaxis over the years and still do with their knowledge and expertise. In return Plaxis has offered and still offers them a platform to showcase and share their innovations and experience.

One of the results thereof is that we frequently participate in working groups, congresses and research teams that deal with the possibilities and limitations of the use of numerical methods in geo-engineering.
To distribute our tools and services we have teamed up with partners in a distribution network that supports our customers locally or regionally.

PLAXIS-users, our customers, have formed several networks of their own in many of which we participate. Those networks, which are in many cases user-groups, are forums for knowledge exchange both between users and between users and Plaxis.


Organisation

Within the Plaxis organization you will find the following departments and functional groups:

  • Competence Centre Geo-Engineering,
  • Software Engineering,
  • Quality Assurance,
  • Marketing, Sales & Services (with functional groups Customer Support, Educational Services and Expert Services),
  • General Management and Staff (with functional groups Finance, IT and HR).

The Plaxis management team consists of managers of these departments and groups.


Quality

PLAXIS software is known for its robustness, user-friendliness and high quality.

To maintain these high standards we have implemented a chain of quality assurance processes supported by the appropriate tools.

Before any new model or method is generally introduced in either our knowledge transfer program or in our software, it is thoroughly tested and validated.

Validation and testing is performed by Plaxis staff as well as by members of the academic society and a selected group of end-users that perform Beta-tests for us.  


History

In the nineteen seventies, research on the use of the finite element method and constitutive models for geotechnical design was carried out at the Technical University of Delft by a varying team of researchers, both professors and (PhD) students.
Immediate cause for this research was the question from the Dutch Ministry of Public Works to find a solution to predict the possible movement of the famous Dutch “Oosterschelde-dam” which protects an important part of the Netherlands against flooding.

This resulted in a software code that enabled elastic-plastic calculations for plane strain problems based on high-order elements.

Later, the code was enriched and could deal with axi-symmetric problems too.

It was in that time that the word Plaxis, short for Plasticity Axi-Symmetry, was used for the first time.
Over the years there has been a continuous flow of new developments that were added and improvements that were made by a variety of researchers.

In 1986 a new phase started for Plaxis because the Dutch Ministry of Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat) together with the Technical University of Delft started a program with the purpose to promote the use of the Finite Element Method amongst practicing geotechnical engineers. Also in other parts of the world there were comparable movements.    

This turned out to be a crucial move and the code was adopted and used outside the University in various projects.

This led in 1993 to the decision to spin-off the activities around the Plaxis code from the University into a start-up company called Plaxis bv.

From 1993 on, Plaxis bv has developed the software with contributions of many individuals from outside Plaxis bv.
Milestones in the nineties were amongst others:

  • the introduction of new hard and soft soil models including creep;
  • the migration from MS-DOS to Windows;
  • the incorporation of a dynamic module in Plaxis;
  • the expansion of the use of Plaxis outside the Netherlands

Over time a new software package arose and grew, which was branded PLAXIS.

In the years starting from 2000 we experienced that the Finite Element Method became really accepted in generic geotechnical engineering and the PLAXIS user base grew strongly.
Since that time we have introduced:

  • the first 3-dimensional version of PLAXIS (3D Tunnel);
  • transient groundwater flow by means of PlaxFlow;
  • PLAXIS 3D Foundation;
  • More advanced soil models;
  • etc., etc.

And this process will continue into the future. With the developing technology also the company has changed and we have grown considerably in number of people, disciplines, nationalities and customers.

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