Thao Bui

Thao Bui

Doctor of Philosophy candidate

For her doctoral research she is focusing on international multimodal transport law in Asia and the Pacific region, says Thao Bui who came to AUT as an international student from Vietnam to study a Doctor of Philosophy in law.

“With the development of international trade, international multimodal transport – the carrying of goods by a combination of different transport modes – has developed to transport goods from one country to another. However, there is no uniform international law governing carrier liability. This has caused uncertainty and unpredictability in determining multimodal transport carrier liability, which is an obstacle for developing multimodal transport.

“In 2019, countries across Asia and the Pacific region expressed a desire to harmonise the legal frameworks for multimodal transport in Asia and the Pacific region. In my research, I’m specifically exploring to what extent any draft of multimodal transport law in Asia and the Pacific Region should emulate Vietnamese law in order to gain support from states.”

Thao’s PhD research is being supervised by Christopher Whitehead from the AUT Law School and Dr Lachmi Singh from the University of Toronto.

Supported to thrive
With a background as a university lecturer in Vietnam, Thao says taking on a PhD was the obvious next step in her academic career.

“I wanted to improve my knowledge and research skills to offer the best teaching and supervision to students at postgraduate level. AUT is one of the partner universities of my home university in Vietnam, and I appreciated that AUT is a five-star university and ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide. After completing my PhD, I’ll return to Vietnam to continue my academic journey.”

The support from her supervisors, administration staff and librarians has been one of the highlights of her time at AUT.

“My supervisors are really friendly and patient, and have provided me with valuable feedback. I had to postpone my studies for one year due to personal issues, and I appreciated that my supervisors were there to support me through this difficult time and trying to deal with my studies and personal matters. The librarians and admin staff have also been very helpful, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when they arranged online meetings to guide me through the AUT systems. They supported me straight away with a smile whenever I needed their help.”

Advice for other students
Expecting to submit her thesis by 2025, Thao has some great advice for other students who are considering postgraduate study at AUT.

“At AUT, everyone is friendly and supportive, so if you face any problem you should discuss them with your lecturers or other AUT staff. I’m sure you’ll have a great time when you study at AUT.”

She wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the PhD to other students and has already encouraged her own friends to apply.

“What has impressed me about AUT is that the staff are so friendly and helpful, and the supervisors are great. I believe that AUT has an effective system of quality assurance throughout the three years of your studies. Therefore, I believe that this programme helps us develop our knowledge and skills to become independent researchers.”