Photo credit: Courtesy Nuytco Research Ltd.
Deep sea innovator
Expertise: Invention, Diving, Water
By Leah Gerber
Phil Nuytten couldn’t stay in high school — he was too anxious to explore the ocean. So he quit and began his commercial diving career. Decades later, in 1983, his most famous dive was to the Breadalbane, the world’s northernmost known shipwreck.
He is best known, however, as an inventor and builder of deep-sea diving equipment and submersibles, and established world-leading companies CanDive, Oceaneering International and Newtco. His hard-suits, the Newtsuit and the Exosuit (“one-atmosphere systems”), are used by explorers and navies around the globe, having made it possible for humans to dive deeper for longer, more safely. He and his team are also training astronauts to operate their DeepWorker submersibles for asteroid work, and however farfetched it may sound, he is designing Vent-Based Alpha, an undersea one-atmosphere colony dedicated to extracting minerals from deep ocean heat vents.