Posted by: crisdiaz24 | March 28, 2017

Isambard Kingdom Brunel – cloze test



Fill in the gaps with ONE suitable word from the list below. There are FIVE extra words you do not need to use.


Isambard Kingdom Brunel (9 April 1806 –15 September 1859), was an English mechanical and civil engineer who is considered “one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history”. Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and 0) __________ important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.

Though Brunel’s projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to 1) __________ engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering “firsts”, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and the development of SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven ocean-going iron ship, which was also at the 2) __________ (1843) the largest ship ever built.

Brunel 3) __________ the standard for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise grades and curves. This necessitated expensive construction techniques and new bridges and viaducts, and the two-mile-long Box Tunnel. One controversial 4) __________ was the wide gauge[1], a “broad gauge” of 7 ft 14 in (2,140 mm), instead of what was later to be known as ‘standard gauge’ of 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm).

Brunel astonished Britain by proposing to extend the Great Western Railway westward to North America by building steam-powered iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering.

In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public 5) __________ to determine the “100 Greatest Britons”. In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200.

In 1830, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

On 5 July 1836, Brunel married Mary Elizabeth Horsley (b. 1813), who came from an accomplished musical and artistic family, being the eldest daughter of composer and organist William Horsley. They established a home at Duke Street, Westminster, in London.

In 1843, while performing a conjuring trick for the amusement of his children, Brunel accidentally inhaled a half-sovereign coin, which became lodged in his windpipe. A special pair of forceps failed to remove it, as did a machine devised by Brunel to shake it loose. At the suggestion of his father, Brunel was strapped to a board and turned 6) __________, and the coin was set free. It was when he recuperated at Teignmouth 7) __________ he decided to purchase an estate at Watcombe in Torquay, Devon. Here he commissioned William Burn to design Brunel Manor and its gardens to be his country home. He never saw the house or gardens finished, 8) __________ he died before it was completed.

Brunel, a heavy smoker, suffered a stroke in 1859, just before the Great Eastern made her first 9) __________ to New York. He died ten days later at the age of 53 and was buried, like his father, in Kensal Green Cemetery in London. The grave is 10) __________ by the standards of the cemetery and easily missed. It lies south of the main central path, midway between the entrance and the central chapel, around 20m from the path and screened by trees.

AS                               LONG-STANDING      SET                              TRIP

FEATURE              LONG-TERM                 SIGNIFICANT        UPSIDE-DOWN

INSIDE-OUT        NUMEROUS                 TIME                            VOYAGE

INSIGNIFICANT   POLL                             THAT                            WHEN

1 8
2 9
3 10

[1] Gauge: /ɡeɪdʒ/: the distance between the rails in a railroad track.





  2. TIME
  3. SET
  5. POLL
  7. THAT
  8. AS

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