• General Facts

  • Founded in January, 1997
  • Mission: Software development for the geotechnical / geoenvironmental / hydrological market sector
  • Released eight separate products in seven years
  • Products currently used in over 50 countries worldwide
  • Hundreds of users
  • Used by the majority of larger Geotechnical consultants
  • Software used on major projects in the mining industry
  • Employ geotechnical, geotechnical/comp. sci., and geological 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, soil scientists, and geological engineers worldwide. We offer both database and finite element and limit equilibrium modeling products which allow the professional to move data seamlessly from the lab to the model. Our finite element modeling packages offer leading-edge features such as automatic mesh generation and automatic mesh refinement which greatly reduce convergence problems as well as model creation time.

The SoilVision software was developed out of a need to understand, manage and predict the behavior of saturated and unsaturated soils. High-quality data and knowledge from experienced engineers forms the basis of the SoilVision 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 received. 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 Ltd. is a knowledge-based database system entitled SoilVision which aids in the estimation and storage of unsaturated soil properties. The SoilVision software 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 the large database of experimental soil properties for unsaturated soils. SoilVision was developed based on research performed on unsaturated soils at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The release of version 2.0 of SoilVision in January of the year 2000 marked a major upgrade to the software. Version 2.0 has been standardized with the majority of laboratory tests and has become popular software for consultants looking to warehouse their laboratory data in a multi-user networked environment. Version 4.0 of SoilVision has been released and continues the tradition of SoilVision Systems Ltd. to offering laboratory database software.

More recently we have added a host of finite element modeling packages offering 2D and 3D solutions to the groundwater, contaminant transport, heat transfer, stress / deformation, and soil vapor extraction problems as well as a limit equilibrium slope stability package. 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 in over 50 countries 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 classes at the University of Saskatchewan involving the theory of soil mechanics. Previous work experience also includes software development for Geo-Slope International.

Professional Accreditation / Memberships

SoilVision Systems Ltd is a strong believer in fostering community and contributing to the knowledge base of our profession. The following is a list of organizations of which we are a member of.

APEGS - Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan APEGS
APEGA - Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta APEGS
CGS - Canadian Geotechnical Society CGS logo
Geo-Institute of ASCE geo institute logo
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada - approved NSERC participant NSERC logo
STEP - Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership STEP logo

Frequently Asked Questions

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