Honors Program

Honors in Technology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Hugh Blanton

Thesis Professor Department

Engineering Technology, Surveying, and Digital Media

Thesis Reader(s)

Hugh Blanton,Paul Simms, Cathy Whaley


The engineering technology department at ETSU currently lacks a modern method to teach digital circuits. The aim of this thesis is to convert our current digital circuits labs to equivalent labs suited to run on the Basys 3. The Basys has several advantages over the aging NI Elvis boards (and now just breadboards) currently in use. The first advantage is that the Basys gives students a taste of FPGA programming without being overwhelmingly; like the systems currently in place for the digital signal processing class. The Basys is also a more modern system; our current integrated circuit and breadboard system is from the 70’s and has little to do with the modern world of electronics.

There are several major difficulties with moving towards the Basys 3. It requires several tweaks to the current computer security setting of the lab computers. The other issue to be solved is that very few people in the department have even an inkling of how to program in VHDL and most of them are outgoing students. This lack of skills could be a threat to the class but I have included an appendix and a few recommendations for books on the subject to ensure that system development can continue.

The other objective of this project was to see if there were ways to incorporate new educational techniques into the engineering technology curriculum. While there have been no actual tests on students, the groundwork has been laid to use some new ideas in the classroom. All of these new systems are designed to get students to think about how devices actually work and develop models to help them fully understand what is being taught.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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