Phil Nuytten

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]

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

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

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 HMS Breadalbane.[2][4]

Media appearances


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

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

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

See also


  1. "Nuytten CV" (PDF). Gallant Aquatic Ventures International. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  2. "Phil Nuytten, Ph.D. - NOGI". Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  3. "Rolex Awards for Enterprise > Press Room > 2008 Selection Committee > Phil Nuytten". Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  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 6 March 2013.
  6. "Building a city under the sea". BBC News. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  7. Thadeusz, Frank (18 September 2018). "Evacuation plan: the inventor building the world's first underwater city". Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  8. Moshakis, Alex (15 April 2018). "Who'd like to live under the sea?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  9. "Renowned B.C. underwater inventor appointed to Order of Canada". CBC News. 27 August 2017. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
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