Phil Nuytten

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Phil Nuytten
OccupationEntrepreneur, deep-ocean explorer, scientist, inventor
Years active1955-present
OrganizationNuytco Research Ltd.
Known forNewtsuit

R. T. "Phil" Nuytten (born 1941) is a Canadian entrepreneur, deep-ocean explorer, scientist, inventor of the Newtsuit, and founder of Nuytco Research Ltd.[1][2][3]

He has pioneered designs related to diving equipment,[3] and has worked with NASA for more than 25 years on applications related to undersea and space technologies.[2]

Today, his equipment is used by a wide range of organizations, including the National Geographic Society, NASA, and is standard for almost a dozen navies.[3]

Early life[edit]

Nuytten was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is a Métis. He was subsequently formally adopted into the Kwakiutl nation.[3] While still in his teens, he began to design diving gear, and opened the first dive shop in Western Canada.[3]


Nuytten has worked in numerous countries as a commercial diver. In his work for the commercial, scientific, and military industries, he has developed equipment and deep-water diving, and technical diving techniques.[2]

During the 1960s and 1970s, Nuytten was involved in the development of mixed-gas decompression tables. He was part of a team that accomplished the first 600 FSW (feet of seawater) ocean "bounce" dives on Project Nesco.[2]

In the 1970s, he co-founded Oceaneering International, Inc. This company became one of the largest underwater skills companies in the world.[2]

In 1983, Nuytten appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine due to his dives into arctic waters to the HMS Breadalbane.[2][4]

Media appearances[edit]


Resulting from his contributions to marine diving technologies, Nuytten has appeared in the media numerous times, including: National Geographic Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Popular Science, Discovery, Fortune, Scientific American and Business Week.[2]

Film and television[edit]

For twenty years, Nuytten has been featured in, and worked on the production of films and television programs based on technology he developed, such as:[1]

  • Descent of Man (CBC)
  • Mysteries of the Sea (NBC)
  • Pressure Point (Walt Disney)
  • [Pacific Abyss] (BBC)
  • [Jaws of Death] (Bruce Martin Productions)
  • [Octopus Hunt] National Film Board of Canada)
  • [28 Above, Below] (National Film Board of Canada
  • [D Day, Underwater] (Discovery Channel)

Nuytten provided the submersibles and was the senior technical advisor for the film The Abyss. His Newtsuit is featured in the IMAX movie Flight of the Aquanaut.[1]


In 1979, Nuytten started work on the Newtsuit, a one-atmosphere diving suit. The revolutionary new design features fully articulated rotary joints.[5] This patented breakthrough design is now used in many subsequent atmospheric diving suits.[2]


In 2000, Nuytten announced that he is developing a new type ultra lightweight powered exoskeleton called the Exosuit This new design is being considered for use as a submarine escape device by the Canadian Department of Defense.[2]

Vent-Base Alpha[edit]

It was announced in September 2018 that Nuytten was designing and planned to build an underwater human settlement off of the coast of Vancouver, Canada in the Pacific Ocean.[6] A prototype is to be built as early as 2019, with cylindrical living chambers that are powered from Stirling engines powered by hydrothermal vent sources.[7] The buildings would be built on land and transported likely to the Juan de Fuca Strait, and submerged a few thousand feet below the surface.[8]

Awards and commendations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Nuytten CV" (PDF). Gallant Aquatic Ventures International. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Phil Nuytten, Ph.D. - NOGI". Retrieved 2011-08-22.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Rolex Awards for Enterprise > Press Room > 2008 Selection Committee > Phil Nuytten". Retrieved 2011-08-22.
  4. ^ MacInnis, Joseph B. (July 1983). "Exploring a 140-Year-Old Ship Under Arctic Ice". National Geographic. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society. 164 (1): 104A–104D.
  5. ^ Kesling, Doug E. "Atmospheric Diving Suits – New Technology May Provide ADS Systems that are Practical and Cost-Effective Tools for Conducting Safe Scientific Diving, Exploration, and Undersea Research". In: Pollock NW, ed. Diving for Science 2011. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 30th Symposium. Dauphin Island, AL: AAUS; 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
  6. ^ "Building a city under the sea". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  7. ^ Thadeusz, Frank (September 18, 2018). "Evacuation plan: the inventor building the world's first underwater city". Retrieved September 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Moshakis, Alex (2018-04-15). "Who'd like to live under the sea?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
  9. ^ Vancouver Sun Newspaper

External links[edit]