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LiveBIG

LiveBIG

BTN LiveBIG shines a light on the community of Big Ten students, faculty and alumni who are making a difference in the world through innovations in research, education and community service. Check out our featured LiveBIG community stories below and join the LiveBIG conversation by sharing your stories with our Facebook and Twitter communities.

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Illinois grads' invention may just be the cast of the future: BTN LiveBIG

The Challenge Jason Troutner knows that modern casts stink. Sometimes literally. Troutner, a University of Illinois mechanical engineering grad, was born with bilateral clubfoot, a condition commonly treated with plaster castings of an infant’s foot. He went on to compete in gymnastics, a sport where broken bones are no rare occurrence. “My memories of a cast are standing in a shower with my hand covered in a bread bag and duct tape trying not to get the thing wet,” remembers Troutner. “Then, still, after taking all of these precautions, still having to deal with that itchiness and that odor that’s

How Penn State is turning green roofs into experimental science: BTN LiveBIG

Green roofs are like your IT department: you know they’re important, but you’re not really sure what they do. Penn State may end up changing that – one mixed-plant community at a time. The university is home to the country’s first green roof technology class (started in 2005) and its Center for Green Roof Research works closely with the university’s Office of the Physical Plant to ensure each new building uses green technology and incorporates green roofs, where possible. Each green roof consists of thin layers of vegetation and soil (or similar growing material). They can help absorb rainwater, insulate