Niel Brandt has been at Penn State since 1997 and is currently a professor in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics. Previously he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a graduate student at the University of Cambridge. Brandt uses a wide variety of astronomical facilities, often operating in the high-energy band, to study the physics, evolution, and ecology of active galaxies and other cosmic X-ray sources. He is an author of more than 600 research papers and leads a small research group including postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students. He also regularly teaches courses on high-energy astrophysics, black holes, and active galaxies.