As part of a 14-week-long assignment, 16 Harvard engineering students were given the task to create the perfect brisket. But what did they need to do that? A really, really good BBQ smoker. To build one, Engineering Sciences professor Kevin Parker landed his class a big-name client willing to fund the project: kitchen goods retailer Williams-Sonoma. The catch? It had to outdo the Big Green Egg -- a charcoal-powered kamado-styled ceramic smoker considered to be the best in the business. And, after months of working on it, the result was The Harvard Smoker, which is designed to consistently produce the best possible brisket. The contraption's hourglass shape is meant to spread heat evenly throughout the meat, while a slew of heat sensors send temperature readings to a smartphone -- and this becomes extremely important in what's typically a cooking process that takes 12 to 15 hours.