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Engineering is the application of science, technology, mathematics, art, and practical experience to the design and production of objects, tools or processes. Professional practitioners of engineering are called engineers. Engineers design and build aircraft (Aerospace), roads and buildings (Civil / Structural), computers and electronics (Electrical), machines and vehicles (Mechanical / manufacturing), medical devices (Biomedical), environmental systems (Environmental), agricultural equipment and processes (Agricultural), processing plants, chemicals and molecules (Chemical), new materials (Materials) and much, much more. Without engineering, the world would be a very different place.


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Ansel Adams - National Archives 79-AAB-01.jpg
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives. The dam was controversially named after President Herbert Hoover.

Since about 1900, the Black Canyon and nearby Boulder Canyon had been investigated for their potential to support a dam that would control floods, provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power. In 1928, Congress authorized the project. The winning bid to build the dam was submitted by a consortium called Six Companies, Inc., which began construction on the dam in early 1931. Such a large concrete structure had never been built before, and some of the techniques were unproven. The torrid summer weather and lack of facilities near the site also presented difficulties. Nevertheless, Six Companies turned over the dam to the federal government on March 1, 1936, more than two years ahead of schedule.


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Assembly of a steam turbine rotor produced by Siemens, Germany.
Credit: Siemens Pressebild

A turbine is a rotary mechanical device that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work. The work produced by a turbine can be used for generating electrical power when combined with a generator or producing thrust, as in the case of jet engines. A turbine is a turbomachine with at least one moving part called a rotor assembly, which is a shaft or drum with blades attached. Moving fluid acts on the blades so that they move and impart rotational energy to the rotor. Early turbine examples are windmills and waterwheels.


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