Employee Spotlight: Engineering Manager, Richard Hastings  

In our latest employee spotlight, we catch up with Nova Leah Engineering Manager, Richard Hastings.

Richard joined the team at the start of 2022 as a scrum master and was promoted to engineering manager just over a year later. Richard has over 20 years commercial experience, where he has worked as a QA engineer, scrum master and various other technical roles.

He brings a huge amount of expertise and experience to the table, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to pick his brain! 

Q&A with Richard Hastings 

Q/ You have a huge amount of experience working in the medical device industry. What has attracted you to this industry? 

The first time I worked in the medical device industry, it was on the manufacturing side.  

This gave me a great understanding of the importance of following procedures and quality, as any deviations from that can have serious consequences. 

The fact that you were making something that can have a positive impact on someone’s life can be very satisfying also. 

Q/ You were recently appointed ‘Engineering Manager’ at Nova Leah. What are you most excited about in this new role? 

I did not expect to become an engineering manager in my career as I was going the agile/scrum master route. There are lots of skills I can bring to the job from being a scrum master, namely coaching a team into making a decision, listening to all sides of the story, and encouraging the team to be self-organised. 

I definitely could not be an autocratic type of manager as I think everyone’s opinion matters but ultimately if a consensus cannot be agreed upon then I will have to make decisions based on the information presented. I am most excited to see where the company and the team go in the future and playing some part on how that progresses. 

Q/ What does your role involve and how does it play into Nova Leah’s overall strategy of aiding secure development and monitoring of connected medical devices i.e., patient safety? 

We have to ensure that our product leaves our customers with a sense that the products are safe and secure to be used in the medical/healthcare industry. 

My role is to ensure that what we send out is of a high standard, meets customer needs and expectations, is up to date with the latest regulations and remains a leader in this field. 

It is important to have an end-to-end relationship with our products. This incorporates everything from design and development to quality assurance. On the customer side it also involves letting customers know what’s coming next and having a feedback loop where customers can quickly tell us their feelings about our products. We can consider what we are being told and decide what changes need to be made. 

What do you like most about working with Nova Leah? 

It’s the first time I have worked with a company that’s relatively new as all my previous experience has been working in large corporate organisations. I really like the atmosphere and knowing everyone on a personal level instead of being a number in a huge organisation. 

Having to wear multiple hats gives you a great insight into other roles. It also adds variety to your day-to-day job and contributes to your overall experience and knowledge. The excitement of finding out what’s coming next, and the speed at which that can happen, is not something you get with larger corporations. 


Q/ Talking a bit more generally about the industry, what do you think are the biggest cybersecurity challenges for medical companies in 2023? 

We could see the consequences of the cyber-attack on the HSE in Ireland and the NHS in the UK a few years back. Not only were the details of thousands of patients stolen but because they had to close the system down, patients lost their appointments, scheduled operations and other factors that impacted their health. 

With medical devices, the concerns are greater because of the nature of the device, in that it is treating/testing a patient or maybe even keeping them alive. The regulators are now starting to put rigorous requirements in place regarding cybersecurity. Medical device manufacturers are still trying to figure out how and what is required by regulators in terms of objective evidence. This is where Nova Leah can help customers deal with the new regulations and ensure that their products are safe. 

Outside of work, what are you most passionate about? 

My biggest passion is my family. I have a wife and a 9-year-old boy. I really enjoy spending time with them. Having a family also makes you strive harder to be more successful as you want to provide a comfortable life and give your children the best possible chance in life. 

Another passion is sport. Unfortunately, I’m not playing it these days, but I enjoy watching it. I have been an avid Liverpool fan for 40+ years. Watching the world’s number one rugby union nation, Ireland, is another favourite. The respect between players and the officials; being able to sit beside the opposing teams’ supporters with no issues is the big plus for me. 

Q/ What books (or books) have most shaped your way of thinking? 

Books are not really my thing, I only really read them on holidays. 

I do enjoy documentaries, especially those on the two world wars as my ancestors would have fought in them. It’s remarkable to think that the actions of one person or a small group of people could trigger such catastrophic events. 

This has had a knock-on effect on me and made me the person I am.  I believe in letting your opinions be heard, to try to arrive at consensus and fight for the people with no voice. 


Q/ What is something you’ve changed your opinion on in the last five years? 

My thought process around personal finances and having enough saved for the future has always worried me. Sometimes this has led me to not living and enjoying the moment because of money concerns.  

Over the last few years that has changed as you are only on this planet for a certain number of years and unfortunately none of us know how long. Life is for living and you should enjoy it day by day. 

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t keep an eye on the finances, but I think you need to hit a happy medium where you can enjoy life without worrying about money.  


Q/ What is something that people are always surprised to learn about you? 

Working in the IT industry, people are always surprised that I have a farm and that I am a qualified farmer. I couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than just looking out onto the fields and getting that sense of freedom!  

A huge thank you to Richard for speaking with us. Richard has become a hugely valuable member of our team and we are incredibly excited to have him with us for years to come!  
If you’d like to meet some more members of our wonderful team, check out –
Q&A Spotlight With Nova Leah’s Vice President of Sales, Joe
Q&A Spotlight With Nova Leah’s Customer Success Manager, Catherine