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The two founders of the Company are Mike Brown and Derek Illman.

Mike Brown graduated from UMIST in 1983 with an MSc in Building Services Engineering. Initially employed by Sauter Automation in Manchester as a Junior Contracts Engineer he quickly progressed to the role of Systems Software Design Manager for the Northern Region. Mike is a member of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers and a Chartered Engineer.

Derek Illman initially worked as an electrician before joining Sauter as a commissioning engineer in 1985. He progressed to Contracts Engineer and then Project Manager by 1988. He managed several large and prestigious contracts including BMS installations at St James' Hospital in Leeds and Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering in Barrow in Furness.

Both started working together in 1989 from premises in Sunderland securing contracts with Asda, Grove Cranes, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, University of Sunderland and local councils, building a reputation for quality engineering and reliability.

In 2007, North East Controls expanded to add Adam Illman to the team as Commissioning and Service Engineer. In 2018, Sarah Brown joined the company as Software Engineer, progressing to Project Engineer in 2019.


Currently, North East Controls carry out BEMS projects in various sectors but specialise in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries, mainly due to reputation and repeat work from existing clients.

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