In this paper, a finite element simulation of the mandrel penetration in normally consolidated soils is presented using a commercial finite element code (ABAQUS). A coupled analysis with large-strain frictional contact is used to simulate the soil-mandrel interface during mandrel penetration. The modified Cam clay model is used to represent the soft soil. The numerical predictions are then compared with the results obtained from the large scale laboratory tests to predict the extent of the smear zone. A large scale consolidation test was conducted with the rate-controlled device used to install the mandrel. The associated excess pore pressures at various locations were recorded and compared with the numerical predications.