History of Engineering: Ancient Innovations and Structures
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History of Engineering: Ancient Innovations and Structures

Explore the history of engineering with a focus on ancient innovations and structures such as stone-bladed axes, Egyptian pyramids, Kingdom of Kush pyramids, and Roman road building. Learn about the function of engineers in different civilizations.

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Questions and Answers

The manufacture of cars and household appliances is a modern activity.


Engineering encompasses areas such as research, design, and testing, but not manufacturing.


Engineers in organization level three have minimal engineering jobs similar to retailing firms.


An engineer in a level one organization has ample opportunity to rise to the position of president or general manager.

<p>False</p> Signup and view all the answers

Preventing and solving crimes is not listed as one of the needed results in the text.

<p>False</p> Signup and view all the answers

The engineer may work as a consultant for any individual or organization.

<p>True</p> Signup and view all the answers

The stone-bladed axe was invented between 6000 and 3000 B.C.

<p>True</p> Signup and view all the answers

The pyramids in Egypt were built between 1000 and 3000 B.C.

<p>False</p> Signup and view all the answers

80 pyramids were built within the Kingdom of Egypt.

<p>False</p> Signup and view all the answers

Gunpowder was invented by the Romans.

<p>False</p> Signup and view all the answers

Steam engines primarily work by heating water with coal.

<p>True</p> Signup and view all the answers

Weaving is the process of making yarn from fibers.

<p>False</p> Signup and view all the answers

Study Notes

Ancient Innovations

  • Between 6000 and 3000 B.C., the stone-bladed axe and irrigation systems promoted crop growth.
  • The pyramids of Egypt were built between 3000 and 600 B.C., with at least 118 identified pyramids.
  • The Kingdom of Kush (Sudan) built around 80 pyramids.

Ancient Roman Innovations

  • The Romans built roads between 600 B.C. and A.D. 400 using a layered system:
    • A layer of dry sand
    • A layer of medium-to-large stones (statumen)
    • A layer of small gravel mixed with cement (rudus)
    • A layer of sand mixed with cement (nucleus)
    • A top layer of flat, wide stones (summum dorsum)

Chinese Innovations

  • Between 100 A.D. and 1600 A.D., the Chinese produced paper and gunpowder.
  • Early Chinese paper was made from mulberry tree bark fibers.
  • Later, hemp rags and old fish nets were added to the pulp to make higher-quality paper.
  • The first gunpowder was made by mixing potassium nitrate, sulfur, and charcoal.

Industrial Revolution

  • Between 1601 A.D. and 1799 A.D., steam engines and spinning and weaving machinery were produced.
  • Steam engines work by burning fuel (primarily coal) to heat water in a boiler.
  • The process of making yarn from fibers is called spinning.
  • The process of arranging two sets of yarns together to make a fabric is called weaving.

Modern Era

  • In modern times, cars and household appliances are mass-produced.
  • Production vehicles or production cars are mass-produced models of automobiles.
  • A home appliance, also referred to as a domestic appliance, is a device that performs a specific function.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • New or improved results are greatly needed in the following problem areas:
    • Producing more food for a fast-growing world population
    • Eliminating air and water pollution
    • Solid waste disposal and materials recycling
    • Reducing noise in various forms
    • Supplying the increasing demand for energy
    • Supplying the increasing demand for mobility
    • Preventing and solving crimes
    • Meeting the increasing demand for communication facilities

The Function of Engineering

  • Research: studying nature and translating information into practical theories
  • Design and development: transforming an idea into a tangible object
  • Testing: testing the viability of new components
  • Manufacturing: managing the manufacturing team
  • Construction: ensuring the quality of the construction process
  • Sales: helping customers satisfy their needs
  • Consulting: working as a consultant for individuals or organizations
  • Government: working for the government in regulation, monitoring, and managing operations
  • Teaching: teaching engineering courses in schools
  • Management: supervising teams of individuals carrying out duties

Engineers in Organizations

  • Level One: minimal engineering jobs (e.g., retailing firms)
  • Level Two: moderate degree of engineering jobs (e.g., transportation companies)
  • Level Three: high degree of engineering jobs (e.g., construction firms)
  • Engineers have varying opportunities for advancement in these organizations.

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