TEXT 14. Why Choose Mechanical Engineering?

Simply put, mechanical engineers are involved with every aspect of energy generation, transmission, and usage. This would imply that they are involved in almost every aspect of our daily lives, and that would be correct! Mechanical engineers design, build and test a wide variety of products and processes that range from your car and its engine, the refrigerator in your kitchen, the wind turbine that provides your house with electricity, to the space shuttle. Because the industries in which mechanical engineers work are so varied, you can expect that your education and training to be a mechanical engineer to also be very broad. Besides a deep understanding of math and basic physics, mechanical engineers are taught specialized courses in mechanics, materials, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow, manufacturing, and controls. Mechanical engineering is also becoming more and more intertwined with computer and electrical engineering as computer aided design and modeling becomes more prevalent and also in the areas of robotics and mechatronics. The breadth of the field of mechanical engineering can be intimidating to some. Because mechanical engineering encompasses so much, it is often the case that as you reach the end of your time at university, you become more specialized in a certain area of mechanical engineering. There are three main different areas of emphasis in mechanical engineering. These main areas are loosely defined and can definitely overlap depending on where your career takes you, but they are a good starting place to think about how you want to focus your career. These three main areas are 1) Thermal fluid applications, 2) Machine and product design, and 3) Materials science and processing.

The first area, thermal fluid applications, involves the subjects of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, hydraulics, and heat transfer. These subjects are applied to the analysis and design of energy production systems, heat exchangers, refrigeration, heating and cooling of buildings, pumps, compressors, and others. Fluid dynamics is also important in the design of airplanes, spacecraft, and automobiles. The area of machine and product design is perhaps the broadest and vaguest of these categories and the one that has the most overlap with the other two. This area has to do with the design of any kind of machine or machine component, such as automobiles, airplanes, any manufacturing application, biomedical devices, robotics, electronic control of machines, etc. It also includes designing marketable products for consumer use. An important aspect of this area is the use of CAD, or Computer Aided Design, to model and analyze machine components. Mechanical engineers who work in this area are often most concerned about designing against fatigue, that is, designing the product or machine to function without failure for its entire expected life.
The final area of emphasis is material science and processing. This area is mostly concerned with the selection or creation of materials that are appropriate for the situation based on needed properties like strength, flexibility, ductility, thermal or electrical conductivity etc. This area includes metallurgists, who work with different alloys of metals like steel and aluminum. It can also include working with polymers. Recently there has been a lot of emphasis in this area in the fields of nanomaterials and nanotechnology. Another hot topic in the field of materials science is the design of strong lightweight composite materials. These are quickly replacing metals in many applications; for example, the new Boeing 787 uses more composite materials than any commercial plane before it. This area is closely tied to the area of machine design. To adequately design a machine component, you must know how to select the proper material to make it from. As has been shown here, mechanical engineering is a broad, but very promising field for those who are considering what kind of career they want to choose. It is not for the faint of heart; engineering fields are among the hardest majors you can choose while at college. However, for those who are up to the challenge, it can prove to launch you into an exciting and rewarding career that offers almost limitless possibilities.


1. What are three main different areas of emphasis in mechanical engineering?

2. What is the broadest and vaguest of these categories?

3. What is fluid dynamics?

4. What does it mean: CAD?


1.Make up as many sentences with these words as you can.

civil engineer инженер-строитель

to train готовить

highly-qualified высококвалифицированный

to be in great demand иметь большой спрос

day (evening) -time department дневное (вечернее) отделение

to deal with быть связанным чем-либо, иметь дело

с чем-либо

to master овладевать

well-equipped laboratories хорошо оборудованные лаборатории

to have at one's disposal иметь в распоряжении

the latest achievements новейшие достижения

strength of Materials сопромат

research work исследовательская работа

course paper курсовая работа

graduation thesis дипломная работа

degree степень

according to согласно

academic plan учебный план

construction site строительная площадка

to be provided with быть обеспеченным чем-либо

post-graduate course аспирантура

2. Work in pairs. What should you do to get ahead in your career? Compare your ideas in a group and try to agree on a final choice.

3. Do you have a career plan? Where do you want to be in 10 years time?

4. Discuss these questions in pairs.

What helps when trying to move ahead in your career? Think about personal factors(ambition, motivation) and workplace factors(promotion opportunities)

What practical advice could you give to someone who wants to get ahead in their career? Make a list of 3 to 5 points.

5.Make up your own dialogue. Play it with your partner.

At an Industrial Exhibition

Boris Antonov is an engineer from an Orenburg factory which is taking part in an

industrial exhibition at the Orenburg State University.

Mr. Blake, a businessman from Canada, is talking to Antonov, who is working at

the exhibition as a guide.

Blake: Have you seen our new model, Boris?

Antonov: Yes, and I must say it is a very up-to-date design.

B: I'm happy to hear that!

A: We are interested in buying some of these machines for our factories.

B: Are you ? How many would you like to buy?

A: I can't give you a definite answer now, I think it may be a big order. Would you

like to visit the factory and talk to the Director General?

B: I'd love to if you could arrange it soon, because I am leaving Orenburg next


A: No problem, Mr. Blake.

B: Good. Thank you ever so much.

Before you start

Work in groups and discuss the question.

What do you know about environmental engineering?

TEXT 15. Civil Engineering.

The term "engineering" is a modern one. The New Marriam- Webster Dictionary gives the explanation of the word "engineering" as the practical application of scientific and mathematical principles. Nowadays the term "engineering" means, as a rule, the art of designing, constructing, or using engines. But this word is now applied in a more extended sense.1 It is applied also to the art of executing such works as the objects of civil and military architecture, in which engines or other mechanical appliances are used. Engineering is divided into many branches. The most important of them are: civil, mechanical, electrical, nuclear, mining, military, marine, and sanitary engineering. While the definition "civil engineering " dates back only two centuries, the profession of civil engineer is as old as civilized life. It started developing with the rise of ancient Rome. In order to understand

clearly what civil engineering constitutes nowadays, let us consider briefly the development of different branches of engineering. Some form of building and utilization of the materials and forces of nature have always been necessary for the people from the prehistoric times. The people had to protect themselves against theelements and sustain themselves in the conflict with nature. First the word "civil engineering" was used to distinguish the work of the engineer with a non-military purpose from that of a military engineer. And up to about the middle of the 18th century there were two main branches of engineering — civil and military. T h e former included all those branches of the constructive art not directly connected with military operations and the constructions of fortifications, while the latter2, military engineering, concerned itself with the applications of science and the utilization of building materials in the art of war. But as time went on, the art of civil engineering was enriched with new achievements of science. With the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and later there came a remarkable series of mechanical inventions, great discoveries in electrical science and atomic energy. It led to differentiation of mechanical, electrical, nuclear engineering, etc. It is a well-known fact that with the invention of the steam engine and the growth of factories a number of civil engineers became interested in the practical application of the science of mechanics and thermodynamics to the design of machines. They separated themselves from civil engineering, and were called "mechanical engineers". With the development of the science of electricity, there appeared another branch of the engineering — electrical engineering. It is devided now into two main branches: communications engineering and power engineering. In the middle of the 20lh century there appeared some other new branches of engineering — nuclear engineering and space engineering. The former is based on atomic physics, the latter — on the achievements of modern science and engineering.

At present there are hundreds of subdivisions of engineering, but they all, at one time or another, branched off from civil engineering. The term "civil engineering" has two distinct meanings. In the widest and oldest sense it includes all non-military branches of engineering as it did two centuries ago. But in its narrower, and at the present day more correct sense, civil engineering includes mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, metallurgical, and mining engineering.

Here are some fields of civil engineering:

1.Housing, industrial, and agricultural construction.

2. Structural engineering comprises the construction of all fixed structures with their foundations.

3. The construction of highways and city streets and pavements.

4. The construction of railroads.

5. The construction of harbours and canals.

6. Hydraulic engineering which includes the construction of dams and power plants.

The above enumeration will make clear the vast extent of the field of civil engineering.

After you read


1.What is the civil engineering concerned with?

2. What do you know about environmental engineering?

3. What does structural engineering deal with?

4. What knowledge is applied by engineers?

5. What are materials used in civil engineering?


1.Answer the following questions using these words combinations:

I suppose... I believe...

I think... As a rule...

It seems to me... Usually...

As far as I know (remember)... Besides...

1 What University do you study at ?

2 What faculty do you belong to ?

3 When was it founded?

4 Are you a second-year student ?

5 What specialists does the Civil Engineering Faculty train ?

6 Why do you want to become a civil engineer ?

7 What subjects is the academic program composed of?

8 Why do our students study foreign languages ?

9 What does the course of studies end with?

10 What problems do the students deal with in their course papers and graduation


11 Where do our graduates work ?

12 In what way can graduates continue their study?

2. Translate from English into Russian

1. The ancient Greeks put a high premium on building skills.

2. The Babylonians of 1800 B.C. hammered out their messages on stone tablets.

3. He will graduate from the university in five years.

4. Construction business also has lots of competition.

5.1 hope she will be back from her trip to Europe next week.

6. The Brooklyn Bridge was remarkable not only for the first use of the pneumatic caisson but also the introduction of steel wire.

7. Architecturally, Venice is very beautiful.

8. I'll take care of this matter personally.

9. Are you going to work as a civil engineer in five years?

10. Many centuries ago man learned to shape clay into blocks.

11. The Twelve Apostles are high rocks in the sea area of Australia.

12. A lot of various modern materials are widely used in civil engineering now.

3. Complete these sentences with the following prepositions (with, at, in, on)

1 The process of studying deals ......... mastering new construction methods.

2 Such specialists are ......... great demand now.

3 We have quite a number ......... well-equipped laboratories ......... our disposal.

4 We write graduation theses .........the scientific problems of our research work.

5 We are provided ......... everything necessary for a scientific career.

4.Ask your partner:

-if he is a second-year student;

-if there are the day-time, evening-time and extra-mural departments;

-if the fourth-year students combine their studies with their research work;

-if during practice the students master the job of a civil engineer;

-if those who combine studies with their work are trained at the evening-time


5. Complete the following dialogue.

An Excursion to a construction site

A group of students is asking a civil engineer questions

Student: What is under construction here ?

Civil Engineer:.........

S.: By the way, how long does it take the builders to complete it ?

C. E.: .........

S.: What materials do you use here ?

C. E.: .........

S.: We see a tower-crane here. What other building machinery and lifting equipment

has this team of builders ?

C. E.:.........

S.: And what about construction methods ? Which of them are used here ?

C. E.:.........

S.: Thank you for your answers. Good-bye.

6. A group of American students is visiting our University . They are interested in

each faculty. Tell them about the Civil Engineering Faculty.

7. Translate from Russian into English

1. Студенты вашей группы посещают все лекции?

2. Я знаю много английских слов.

3. Мы пойдем на дискотеку вечером?

4. Аня много помогает мне с переводом английских текстов.

5. Вы купили этот учебник вчера или позавчера?

5. Лекция продлится два академических часа.

6. Студенты обычно повторяют новые слова перед уроком.

7. Мой друг поступил в политехнический институт в прошлом году.

8. Два года назад мы и не слышали об этом.

9. Никогда не видела, чтобы он что-нибудь читал.

10. Я буду очень рада, если вы придете.

11. Занятия в университете всегда начинаются ровно в 8.30 утра.

Before you start

Work in groups and discuss the questions.

Where would you like to live: in a house or in a flat?

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