History of Engineering

Engineering has existed since ancient times when humans made inventions such as the pulley, lever, and wheel. Each of these inventions is important for the modern engineering, using basic mechanical principles to develop useful tools and objects.

The term engineering dates back to 1325, when an engineer (one who operates an engine) originally referred to “a constructor of military engines.” The word “engine” is of even older Latin origin, ingenium, meaning “invention.” Later, as the design of civilian structures such as bridges and buildings developed, the term civil engineering distinguished between the construction of such non-military projects and the older discipline of military engineering.

The first electrical engineer is William Gilbert, who was the author of the term "electricity".

Mechanical engineer Thomas Savery built the first steam engine in 1698. The development of this device gave rise to the industrial revolution and allowed the beginnings of mass production.

Electrical Engineering began with the experiments of Alessandro Volta in the 1800s, the experiments of Michael Faraday, George Ohm and others and the invention of the electric motor in 1872. The work of James Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz in the late 19th century gave rise to the field of Electronics. The later inventions of the vacuum tube and the transistor further accelerated the development of Electronics.

The inventions of Thomas Savery and the Scottish engineer James Watt gave rise to modern Mechanical Engineering. The development of specialized machines and their maintenance tools during the industrial revolution led to the rapid growth of Mechanical Engineering in Britain and abroad.

Chemical Engineering, like Mechanical Engineering, developed in the nineteenth century during the Industrial Revolution. The role of the chemical engineer was the design of chemical plants and processes.

In 1990, with the rise of computer technology, computer engineer Alan Emtage built the first search engine.


Exercise 7.Read and translate the following words and word combinations.If necessary look at the Vocabulary.

Modern engineering, basic mechanical principles, useful tools, of Latin origin, civil engineering, industrial revolution, invention of the electric motor, transistor, in the nineteenth century, chemical plants and processes, computer technology.


Exercise 8.Find equivalents to the following words and word combinations in the text:

C древних времен, изобретать, разрабатывать оборудование (механизмы), первоначально, военный двигатель, военно-инженерное дело, инженер-электрик, первый паровой двигатель, более поздние изобретения, ускорить развитие электроники, быстрый рост машиностроения, химическое машиностроение, поисковая машина.

Exercise 9.Now use appropriate expressions from the last exercises to answer the following questions.

1) What is the origin of the term engineering?

2) What does civil engineering mean?

3) Who was the first electrical engineer? What invention did he make?

4) When was steam engine invented?

5) When did electrical engineering appear?

6) What inventions accelerated the development of electronics?

7) What inventions led to the rapid growth of mechanical engineering?

8) What was the role of chemical engineering?

9) When was the first search engine built?


Exercise 10.Put in a/an or the.

1) a. This house is very nice. Has it got … garden?

b. It's a beautiful day. Let's sit in … garden.

c. I like living in this house but it's a pity that … garden is so small.

2) a. Can you recommend … good restaurant?

b. We had dinner in … very nice restaurant.

c. We had dinner in … most expensive restaurant in town.

3) a. She has … French name but in fact she's English, not French.

b. What's … name of that man we met yesterday?

c. We stayed at a very nice hotel - I can't remember … name now.

4) a. There isn't … airport near where I live. … nearest airport is 70 miles away.

b. Our plane was delayed. We had to wait at … airport for three hours.

c. Excuse me, please. Can you tell me how to get to … airport?

5) a. “Are you going away next week?” “No, … week after next.”

b. I'm going away for … week in September.

c. George has a part-time job. He works three mornings … week.


Exercise 11. Complete the sentences with There is (are), there was (were), there will be.

1) …….. a young engineer in this laboratory next year.

2) …….. two engines in this machine.

3) …….. an electric motor in the automobile?

4) …….. a vacuum tube in the television.

5) …….. no electricity at home last night.

6) …….. Industrial revolution in the nineteenth century.

7) …….. several new universities in our city.

8) …….. 20 students in our group.

9) …….. no steam engines before the 17th century.


Exercise 12.Read the first sentence and then write a sentence beginning There is (are).

Example: The roads were busy today. There was a lot of traffic.

1) This soup is very salty. There … in the soup.

2) The box was empty. … in the box.

3) The film was very violent. …

4) The shops were very crowded. …

5) I like this town - it's lively. …


Exercise 13.Translate the sentences paying attention to one, that, those.

1) This tool is broken. Give me another one please.

2) The invention of the steam engine cannot be compared to that of the search engine.

3) The price of the transistor is higher than that of the resistor.

4) The radius of the Moon is smaller than that of the Earth.

5) There are many other famous places in the city besides those which you saw yesterday.

6) This method is an extension of that used by Bush.

7) The invention of the vacuum tube is one which accelerated the development of Electronics.


Exercise 14.Read the paragraph about famous people and select the correct words.

Dmitriy Ivanovich Mendeleyev(1834-1907) is one of (a/the) (most/more) famous Russian chemist. (He/she) is best/better known for (a/the) development of (the/a) periodic table of the properties of the chemical elements. The/a chemist classified the elements according to their atomic weight.

Sikorskiy Igor Ivanovich (1889-1972) was (a/the) (well/good) known aircraft engineer and manufacturer. (He/They) was the first to make experiments in helicopter design. He designed, built, and flew the first successful aeroplane. Later he built aircrafts for Russia and France. In 1919 he moved to (the/-) United States and helicopters designed by (him/her) were used most/much of all for US Army Air Forces during World War II.

Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) was a/an British civil engineer. He is (a/-) well-known for the construction of several notable bridges. He built several famous bridges, including (the/-) Victoria Bridge in Northumberland and two bridges across the Nile in Damietta in Egypt.

James Watt (1736-1819) was (a/an) Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, known for (his/their) improvements of the steam engine. Watt patented important inventions, including improvements of steam engine, rotary engine, double-action (двойного действия) engine. The watt, the unit of power, was named in (his/our) honour.

Exercise 15.Translate the sentences into English using active vocabulary of the lesson.

1) На этом химическом заводе инженеры устанавливают разные специализированные станки.

2) Преподаватель попросил нас подготовить доклад об изобретении парового двигателя.

3) Этот производитель известен своими достижениями в промышленности.

4) Какие типы станков ты знаешь?

5) Мы превратили один тип энергии в другой.

6) Инженер запустил двигатель в 9 утра.

7) Студент никому не рассказал о своем изобретении.

8) Эта отрасль науки не так развита, как та.

9) Ты знаешь последние новости из отрасли самолетостроения?

10) Вес нового резистора меньше, чем вес старого.


Exercise 16.Speak on.

A famous inventor or an engineer and his contribution to world science.


Unit 2