Akshata Krishnamurthy is a fourth year PhD Candidate in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, specializing in Space Systems. For her doctoral dissertation, Akshata is working on a generalized framework for the performance evaluation of space telescopes. She is a part of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) Science Team, and is developing precision laboratory techniques for the characterization of the CCD detectors and the evaluation of the overall photometric performance. She was awarded the Schlumberger Faculty for the Future Fellowship from 2014-2018 for four consecutive years, and the 2017 Luigi G. Napolitano Award by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) at the International Astronautical Congress held in Adelaide, Australia. She is the Co-Chair of the MIT Graduate Student Council Orientation and was selected in 2017 to serve on the Presidential Advisory Cabinet (PAC) in a purely advisory capacity to MIT President Rafael Reif on various issues identified by the President concerning the student body.