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R. T. (Phil) Nuytten, OBC, D.Sc. (hon.), L.L.D. (hon.), FI ‘85

Phil Nuytten has spent his life in subsea exploration, logging thousands of hours underwater as a working commercial diver and developer of underwater equipment and techniques. He is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modern commercial diving and a significant force in the creation of new technology. His goal: to provide divers full access to continental shelf depths without the hazards of decompression, so that humans can explore, learn about, and protect the world’s oceans.

Among the many pioneering technologies developed by Nuytten are the world-famous NEWTSUIT and its current successor the EXOSUIT, the ‘Remora’ submarine rescue system, and the micro-submersible ‘DeepWorker’. He currently holds long term contracts with NASA which combine research on life in extreme environments with high fidelity training in a remote, underwater field setting. The information gained from these scientific and performance analogs will help improve the knowledge base, tools and techniques of future human missions to near-Earth asteroids, the Moon, Mars and beyond.

A popular speaker at underwater conferences, Nuytten has published numerous technical papers on his leading-edge work. Features have also appeared in National Geographic, Newsweek, Time, Scientific American, and dozens of other trade and popular publications. In the last 20 years, he has been involved heavily in production of film and TV specials based around his unique technology, most notably James Cameron’s Academy Award winning film “The Abyss”, BBC’s “Pacific Abyss”, Omnimax’s “Flight of the Aquanaut” and many Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel specials.

The recipient of numerous awards including the “Life Sciences” Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Jules Verne Award and the Order of British Columbia, Nuytten was inducted into the Commercial Diving Hall of Fame by the Association of Diving Contractors International in 1988 and into the ‘Diving Hall of Fame’ by the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences in 1997.

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