Metis R.T. “Phil” Nuytten was born in 1941 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Since his early childhood, Neytten has had a passion for diving. He knows how dangerous diving is, as many of his friends died when they had surfaced too quickly, without letting their bodies adjust the change in pressure that occurred as they came up.
While in his teens, he began to design diving gear and opened Western Canada’s first dive shop. It was such a successful business that he became a millionaire by his early thirties!
He has worked with NASA for many years on applications related undersea and space technologies. Nuytten has also worked in many 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.
In the 1970s, he co-founded Oceaneering International Inc. This company became one of the largest underwater skills companies in the world.
In 1979, Nuytten started work on the Newtsuit, a one-atmosphere diving suit. The revolutionary new design features fully articulated rotary joints. This patented breakthrough design is now used in many later atmospheric diving suits.
In 1983, Dr. Nuytten appeared on the cover of National Geographic Magazine for his dives into arctic waters.
Nuytten has appeared in other print media many times, including: Time, Newsweek, Popular Science, Discovery, Fortune, Scientific American and Business Week. He’s also been featured in, and worked on the production of films and television programs based on technology he developed, such as Descent of Man (CBC) Mysteries of the Sea (NBC).
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.
In 2000, Nuytten announced that he is developing a new type ultra lighweight powered exoskeleton called the Exosuit. This new designed is being considered for use as a submarine escape device by the Canadian Department of Defense.
Nuytten received many awards and commendations:
Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (Hall of Fame membership)
American Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Life Sciences Award)
Canadian Advanced Technology Award
Canadian Award for Business Excellence
Contractors International’s Commercial Diving
Diving Association of Diving Contractors
Diving Hall of Fame
Explorers Club (Lowell Thomas award)
John Galletti Memorial Award
Jules Verne Award
Order of British Columbia
Simon Fraser University (honorary Doctor of Laws degree)