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Make a close-to-the-text retelling of the contents.





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3. Give Russian interpretation to the following English text. Engineering as a Profession

 

Engineering is often compared to medicine and law in discussions of professional status. It would appear to qualify according to the dictionary meaning of the word. Engineering require specialized knowledge and intensive preparation with continued study after leaving the university. The profession has a strong organizational structure, requires high standards, and operates in the public service. These attributes are commonly associated with the word professional as it is used here. This is a rather restricted interpretation and it differs from its use in describing, say, a professional actor or sportsman who is paid for his efforts, as opposed to an amateur who performs for enjoyment. It is also sometimes used in reference to level of experience so that one speaks of a professional job house painting or plumbing. Another use refers to a continued effort over an extended period of time so that one hears reference to a “professional student” as one who spends many years at a university.

Most important is the fact that engineers see themselves as professionals. They have to be technically competent and operate with responsibility in conformity with accepted notions of professionalism.

The type of responsibility is rather different from a doctor. The doctor’s responsibility is clearly recognizable because of directness of a doctor’s relationship. For the engineer, the result of his labors – be it a bridge, air-conditioning unit, automobile or computer – is interposed between himself and the user. However, since people’s lives are often at stake if an error is made, a high level of competence is essential.

Engineering is somewhat tainted in the public eye. It is recognized that technology, or its misapplication, is responsible for the various pollution threats and also for devastating weapons of war, and the public assumes that it is the engineers who have brought us to this pass. It should be realized that technology, too operates according to demands, and just as the demand for goods, and comfort has led to environmental damage, so technology can also correct this. In one sense engineers with their machines are the tools of society, and it is society that ultimately determines how they are to be used.

The usual structure of engineering curricula includes four main components. First come the basic sciences of physics, chemistry and mathematics. Then a block of humanities courses is required. The engineering courses fall in the general areas of mechanics of solids, properties of materials, mechanics of fluids, thermodynamics, electrical science, transfer and rate processes and systems. Finally come the design courses which put it all together. It is this design discipline which exemplifies engineering in action, for it illustrates how engineers solve practical problems by applying their scientific knowledge and skills in the interactive decision-making process. This is how engineers adapt science to human needs.

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