Emily W. Tow

she / her / hers

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering


Emily Tow Headshot - Brown-blonde ponytail, glasses, smiling at camera


MH 334




  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2017
  • S.M., Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2014
  • S.B., Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2012


  • ITRI-Rosenfeld Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Winner of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's "More Water, Less Concentrate" Challenge
  • Meredith Kamm Memorial Award for Excellence in a Woman Graduate Student


  • Water reuse and desalination
  • Water-energy-food nexus
  • Heat transfer

Emily Tow is a mechanical engineer and visual artist.

Her engineering research addresses sustainability through the study of transport phenomena at the water–energy–food nexus. Currently, Emily’s research focuses on understanding membrane fouling and improving energy efficiency in water reuse and desalination. She has more than 15 peer-reviewed publications and patents in the fields of heat transfer and water treatment. Emily is also a lighthearted visual artist who works with the experience and outcomes of repetition using various media, including soft sculpture, ceramics, drawing, and mural painting. Prior to joining the Olin faculty in 2019, Emily received her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and was an ITRI-Rosenfeld Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Lab.