Jordan Dawley

Mentor: Dr. Scott Wasman
College of Engineering
"I was approached by my Geotech professor about opportunities in research. I wanted to gain more experience in the field of geotechnical engineering; research was a great way to accomplish that. She directed me to Dr. Wasman, who presented me with the project in which I am now engaging."


Civil Engineering



Research Interests

  • Civil Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Ground Modifications

Academic Awards

  • ACHS Class of 2013 Valedictorian
  • ASCE SE Regional Conference Champion 2014 & 2015
  • Concrete Canoe National Champion 2015
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • American Society of Civil Engineers, UF Chapter
  • UF Concrete Canoe
  • Gator Wesley Foundation



Hobbies and Interests


Research Description

The Effects Of Hydrolase Enzymes On The Swelling Of Sodium Montmorillonite
Sodium Montmorillonite is a type of clay with a very high swelling potential. The swelling of clays results in millions of dollars worth of damage to infrastructure in the United States. For this reason, this research aims to determine if our newly proposed method for reducing swell potential can be effective. The method in question is the use of hydrolase enzymes on sodium montmorillonite. Sodium montmorillonite clay is composed of tiny mineral plates bound together. These plates are surrounded by positively charged metal ions which share electrostatic bonds with water when present. The presence of water in the clay forces the soil to expand; in order for normal consolidation to occur, water must escape. The addition of hydrolase enzymes should produce hydronium ions from the water. This should loosen the bond between water and the metal ions, allowing free water to escape and thus reduce swelling.