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a specialist with advanced technical education; originally the title of persons who operated military machines. The concept of the civil engineer appeared in the 16th century in Holland for the builders of bridges and roads, and later it spread to England and other countries. The first educational institutions to train engineers were established in the 17th century in Denmark; in the 18th century they were organized in Great Britain, France, Germany, and Austria. The first engineering school in Russia was founded by Peter I in 1712 in Moscow. Institutions in St. Petersburg were the Mining School, which was equal in standing to the academies (1773); the Institute of Railroad Engineers (1809); the School of Civil Engineers (1832; renamed the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1882); and the Engineering Academy (1855). During the 19th century a distinction began to be made in foreign countries between practicing engineers, or professional engineers (who were actually specialists with the qualifications of a technician), and graduate engineers, with advanced technical education (civil engineers).
Engineers are trained at higher educational institutions of various types and specializations. In the USSR they specialize in geology, mining, power, metallurgy, machine building and instrument-making, radio electronics, forest engineering, chemical technology, production processes, construction, geodesy, hy-drometeorology, transportation, and engineering economics. In 1971 the Soviet system of higher technical education had more than 230 engineering specializations and 360 special areas. Contemporary progress in science and technology created the necessity of training engineers with combined specializations, such as engineer-physicist and engineer-mathematician.
The curriculum for each engineering specialization is intended to take five to six years and consists of three cycles of academic disciplines: general science, which includes higher mathematics, physics, chemistry, political economy, Marxist-Leninist philosophy, scientific communism, history of the CPSU, and a foreign language; general engineering, which includes theoretical mechanics, machine parts, the theory of mechanisms and machines, descriptive geometry and drawing, metals technology, materials science, strength of materials, electrical engineering, hydraulics, heat engineering, safety engineering, the economics and organization of production, and computer technology; and specialized engineering, the content of which varies depending on the profession and specialization (for example, for engineering geodesy the required studies include geodesy, advanced geodesy, engineering geodesy, engineering surveying, photogrammetry, practical astronomy, and cartography).
The general-science and general-engineering disciplines give specialists a broad background, and the specialized disciplines (for example, the theory of technological processes, and the theory of design and construction of machines and instruments) lay the scientific foundation for the future engineer’s specialized training. General engineering training is usually done in the lower grades; specialized training comes in the third to fifth years. During their education the future engineers perform a great deal of calculation and graphic and practice research assignments and yearly projects and receive training and production practice. Graduates of the higher technical schools defend engineering theses, take state examinations, and qualify as engineers (according to the profession chosen—mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, production processes engineer, economist-engineer, and so on). The qualifications of Soviet engineers are equivalent in academic levels to the qualifications acquired by graduate students at higher technical schools in the USA, Great Britain, France, and other countries by defending a dissertation project for the second professional academic degree, for example, master of science.
In 1971 there were about 3 million people studying in engineering specializations at higher educational institutions in the USSR. The number of engineers graduated in the USSR and the USA, respectively, was 37,000 and 61,000 in 1950, 120,000 and 43,000 in 1960, 170,000 and 41,000 in 1965, and 257,000 and 50,000 in 1970.
In 1970, the distribution of engineers graduating in the USSR among the groups of professions was as follows: geology and exploration of mineral deposits, 5, 100; working of mineral deposits, 6,300; power engineering, 10,500; metallurgy, 6,500; machine building and instrument-making, 69,000; electronic equipment, electrical instrument-making, and automation, 40,500; radio engineering and communications, 19,800; chemical engineering, 16,100; forest engineering and the technology of lumber, pulp, and paper, 3,300; the technology of food products, 7,900; the technology of consumer goods, 5,400; construction, 30,300; geodesy and cartography, 1,000; hydrology and meteorology, 1,100; transportation, 14,900; and economics, 20,000. The number of graduate engineers employed in the economy of the USSR and the USA has changed as follows: 400,000 and 310,000, respectively, in 1950; 1,135,000 and 590,000 in 1960; 1,631,000 and 735,000 in 1965; and 2,486,000 and 905,000 in 1970.
Scientific and scientific-pedagogical personnel in the field of technology are trained in the graduate-studies system at institutions of higher technical education and scientific research institutions. In 1970 there were about 40,000 graduate students in the USSR and about 410,000 scientific workers in the technical sciences, including 4,700 doctors of technical sciences and 63,500 candidates of technical sciences.
V. A. IUDIN
computer engineerA professional who has software, systems or network engineering experience. The term may also refer to an individual with an electrical engineering background, who is also proficient in computer science. Such a person could be involved in the design of hardware as well as software. See engineer.
network engineerA person who designs, implements and supports local area and wide area networks within an organization. Network engineers are high-level technical analysts specializing in networks. See network administrator, job descriptions and salary survey.
software engineer(1) A popular title for programmers and systems analysts in the 21st century. See programmer and systems analyst.
(2) A person who designs and programs system-level software, such as operating systems, database management systems (DBMSs) and embedded systems. The title is often used for programmers in the software industry who create commercial software packages, whether they be system level or application level. "Software engineer," "systems programmer" and "systems engineer" titles are often synonymous. See systems engineer, software technician and developer.