DATE:  February 23, 2004
CONTACT:   Dr. John Tunnell, Associate Director Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, (361) 825-2736; Steve Paschal, Public Affairs, (361) 825-5510

Deep Sea Diving Pioneer Dr. Phil Nuytten to be Next Speaker in Harte Research Institute’s Distinguished Lecturer Series
Dr. Phil Nuytten, one of the pioneers of the modern commercial diving industry, will be the next guest speaker in the Harte Research Institute’s Distinguished Lecturer Series, Monday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi  University Center Lone Star Ballroom. Nuytten, who has spent nearly 40 years developing undersea systems designed for the safety of the diving technician, will speak on “Getting to the Bottom: A Half Century of Deep Underwater Technology.”

In the 1960s, Nuytten was heavily involved in experimental deep-diving and the development of mixed gas decompression tables. He is the co-founder of Oceaneering International, Inc. one of the largest undersea skills companies in the world and has been instrumental in the development and acceptance of Atmospheric Diving System technology. In 1979, he began work on a revolutionary one-atmosphere diving suit which led to the “Newtsuit, a hard suit that completely protects the wearer from outside pressure at depths of up to 1,000 feet and eliminates the need for decompression.

In 1997, Nuytten and his design team produced the micro-submersible “Deepworker,” a revolutionary deep-diving system that has been called an “underwater sports car.” He received a five-year contract from the National Geographic Society to provide Deepworkers and crews for Sustainable Seas Expeditions, a deep ocean environmental impact initiative of Dr. Sylvia Earle, chair and program coordinator for the Harte Institute for the Gulf of Mexico Studies at A&M-Corpus Christi.

In 2000, Nuytten introduced the “Exosuit,” an ultra-light swimming hard suit. He recently completed a contract for the Canadian Department of National Defense to examine the feasibility of using the suit as a submarine escape device. Plans are currently underway to produce a space version of the Exosuit.
Nuytten has earned many international honors including the Explorer’s Club prestigious Lowell Thomas Award. He is a member of the Diving Hall of Fame and, in 2000, received the Canadian Underwater Pioneer Award.