FEFLOW Modelling Course: The basics of groundwater modelling and advanced applications (2022)

  • Course dates: 31 Oct. - 4 Nov. 2022
    • The course is divided into two parts. One or both parts can be attended.
    • Introductory FEFLOW course (3 days): 31 Oct - 2 Nov. 2022
    • Advanced FEFLOW course (2 days): 3 - 4 Nov. 2022
  • Speaker: Robin Dufour from DHI
  • Course location: Unimail building (room TBD), rue Émile-Argand 11, University of Neuchâtel, 2000 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  • Cost: 
    • PhD student members of the Water-Earth Systems PhD School: no fee
    • Externals: See below.
  • Registration: please fill in the REGISTRATION FORM (https://forms.gle/b4vUierfj7CUggrb6)
  • Questions: please contact School.Earth-Water@unine.ch 


This five-day, hands-on course provides you with comprehensive training in groundwater modelling using FEFLOW. It consists of an introductory and an advanced part. The introductory part provides a comprehensive overview over the most important parts of groundwater modelling with FEFLOW, from mesh generation to transient and variably saturated flow simulations, while the advanced part focuses on more complex modelling topics such as geothermal energy applications and modelling of the transport of reactive solutes. There will be ample opportunity to discuss groundwater topics with some of DHI’s most experienced groundwater modelers, and plenty of time to ask questions.

FEFLOW is widely recognised as a comprehensive software package for subsurface flow and transport simulation. FEFLOW’s unique meshing capabilities (structured and unstructured) allows for the highest degree of flexibility to account in detail for the simplest all the way to the most complex geometrical configurations. The software is used by leading research institutes, universities, consulting firms and government organisations all over the world. FEFLOW’s scope of application ranges from simple local-scale to complex large-scale modelling. Applications include water resources management, mine dewatering, saltwater intrusion, and geothermal energy.


Target audience

PhD school members, academics and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds will benefit from this course, whether new to groundwater modelling or already experienced modelers.


Administrative information

It is possible to follow just the basic, 3-day course or the full, 5-day course.

Participation for members of the Water-Earth Systems PhD school is free. Costs are CHF 900 for the basic course, and CHF 1500 for the full course. 

Places are limited to 20 participants. To facilitate planning and ensure a place for everyone, please register quickly.

To participate actively in the course, participants have to bring their own Windows 10 laptop.


Introductory Part (Days 1-3) major topics

  • Introduction to FEFLOW and its graphical user interface
  • Setting up steady-state and transient models
  • Creating 2D and 3D mesh geometries (structured and unstructured)
  • Setting up flow models with confined and unconfined aquifers
  • Setting up mass transport models and/or groundwater age models
  • Results evaluation, visualization and animation
  • Unsaturated flow modelling (seepage from a dam)

Tentative list of exercises (Days 1-3)

  1. Box - Fluid Flow
  2. Box - Solute Transport
  3. Wet River Valley - 2D Steady State
  4. Wet River Valley - 2D Transient
  5. Flow Barrier (Deactivation of Finite Elements)
  6. Dam Seepage (Unsaturated Flow)


Advanced Part (Days 4-5) major topics

  • Introduction with Unstructured meshing / mining or Tunnels
  • FEFLOW’s interface with geological software
  • Heat-dependent flow modelling
  • Geothermal energy systems modelling (closed/open-loop)
  • Fractures and discrete features

Tentative list of exercises (Days 4-5) *

  1. Fracture Flow
  2. From 2D Mesh to Fully Tetrahedral 3D Mesh
  3. From a Geological Model to a Fully Unstructured 3D Mesh
  4. Open-Loop Ground Heat Source (Geothermal Energy)
  5. Borehole Heat Exchangers (Geothermal Energy)
  6. Introduction to FePEST (it times allows it)

*List of exercises will depend on time and progress.