Phd student Fatma Kara smiling and wearing white

Q&A: Get to know UOW PhD student Fatma Kara

Q&A: Get to know UOW PhD student Fatma Kara

Fatma Kara is from Turkey and following on from studying a Bachelor of Law and International Relations, she worked as a lawyer in Istanbul for a few years. She then studied an Air and Space Law LLM in the Netherlands at Leiden University. We hope you enjoy getting to know our new TLPC PhD candidate.

What is the specific area of interest for your doctoral research?

I am working on space law and international organisational law-related topics. Space technology, the number of participants, and the utilisation of space have increased tremendously. This is an amazing advancement, but it brings some unwanted problems such as debris, space traffic management, military use of space etc. Hence, space safety and sustainability have become urgent issues that need solutions.

What are the research questions that you aim to seek to answer?

Governance of common areas like oceans and space are conflicted topics. However, maritime law and air law have long history and material compared to space law. There are specialised UN agencies for both these areas to develop the principles and techniques that do not exist for space. My thesis will attempt to analyse how we can ensure space safety, from a legal and institutional perspective. Specifically, it will question current problems of existent intergovernmental organizational structures and more specifically how the designed international space safety organization can contribute to the improvement of space safety and the enhancement of space commercialization.

Why do you want to pursue a PhD?  

I always want to experience different cultures and have an education within different systems. I like being in a university environment and I think this is the main reason why I want to be in academia.

Why did you want to pursue your PhD at UOW? 

If you are an international student, you must obtain information about the quality of education at that university. The reputation of UOW took my attention, along with the really quick replies with positive attitude I have received from my supervisor Associate Professor Markus Wagner.

To what extent does your educational and professional background prepare you for the work that lies ahead in your doctoral thesis?

I am not sure to what extent I am ready. I have an educational background in air and space law, but I don’t have work experience in this field. Moreover, I learned English in my late twenties and I have limited working experience in a foreign language. These are challenges, but if I stayed in my comfort zone, I would never know the extent of my capabilities. I believe that this PhD is a journey, and the main aim is to improve myself.  

What are some of your long-term goals?

I am planning to return to my home country to become an academic. I have a little bit of a nomad background and I know that I will keep working and studying in different cultures.