Samuel Stoneburner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Samuel Stoneburner is a computational chemist specializing in electronic structure theory, which means calculating the properties of atoms or molecules based on the quantum mechanical behavior of their electrons. Dr. Stoneburner selected this specialty in part because it is underrepresented in undergraduate settings, and teaching undergraduate chemistry has been his career goal since his coursework at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. After completing an associate's degree there, he got a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics at Hillsdale College in Michigan, followed by his graduate work in Prof. Laura Gagliardi's lab at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. His graduate research featured the prediction of transition metal candidates for gas separations using metal-organic frameworks. Dr. Stoneburner loves physical chemistry because it is where he best sees the patterns of God's work in nature, and he most loves sharing that experience with students.


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, June 2019, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Gagliardi research group.
  • M.S., Chemistry, January 2016, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • B.S., Chemistry and Mathematics, May 2014, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan.
  • A.A.S., Chemical Technology, May 2010, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Courses Taught

  • General Chemistry I – CHE 1052
  • General Chemistry I Lab – CHE 1052L
  • General Chemistry II - CHE1053
  • Physical Chemistry I - CHE3025
  • Physical Chemistry I Lab - CHE3025L
  • Physical Chemistry II - CHE3026
  • Physical Chemistry II Lab - CHE3027

Experience in Field

  • Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA), Assistant Professor, 2022-Present
  • Messiah University (Mechanicsburg, PA), Visiting Professor, 2019-2022
  • University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN), Scientific Coordinator, Undergraduate Research Fellowship, 2019-2021
  • University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN), Mentorship Program for Aspiring Chemistry Teachers, 2018

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Jeong, W. S.; Stoneburner, S. J.; King, D.; Li, R.; Walker, A.; Lindh, R.; Gagliardi, L. Automation of active space selection for multireference methods via machine learning on chemical bond dissociation. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2020, 16, 2389–2399.
  • Stoneburner, S. J.; Truhlar, D. G.; Gagliardi, L. Transition metal spin-state energetics by MC-PDFT with high local exchange. J. Phys. Chem. A 2020, 124, 1187–1195.
  • Gaggioli, C. A.; Stoneburner, S. J.; Cramer, C. J.; Gagliardi, L. Beyond Density Functional Theory: the Multiconfigurational Approach to Model Heterogeneous Catalysis. ACS Catal., 2019, 9, 8481–8502.
  • Demir, H.; Stoneburner, S. J.; Jeong, W.; Ray, D.; Zhang, X.; Farha, O. K.; Cramer, C. J.; Siepmann, J. I.; Gagliardi, L. Metal-Organic Frameworks with Metal Catecholates for O2/N2 Separation. J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123, 12935-12946.
  • Presti, D.; Stoneburner, S. J.; Truhlar, D. G.; Gagliardi, L. Full Correlation in a Multiconfigurational Study of Bimetallic Clusters : Restricted Active Space Pair-Density Functional Theory Study of [2Fe-2S] Systems. J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123, 11899– 11907.
  • Stoneburner, S. J.; Gagliardi, L. Air Separation by Catechol-Ligated Transition Metals: A Quantum Chemical Screening. J. Phys. Chem. C 2018, 122, 22345–22351.
  • Stoneburner, S. J.; Truhlar, D. G.; Gagliardi, L. MC-PDFT Can Calculate SingletTriplet Splittings of Organic Diradicals. J. Chem. Phys. 2018, 148, 064108.
  • Stoneburner, S. J.; Shen, J.; Ajala, A. O.; Piecuch, P.; Truhlar, D. G.; Gagliardi, L. Systematic Design of Active Spaces for Multi-Reference Calculations of Singlet–Triplet Gaps of Organic Diradicals, with Benchmarks Against Doubly Electron-Attached Coupled-Cluster Data. J. Chem. Phys. 2017, 147, 164120.
  • Ongari, D.; Tiana, D.; Stoneburner, S. J.; Gagliardi, L.; Smit, B. Origin of the Strong Interaction between Polar Molecules and Copper(II) Paddle-Wheels in Metal Organic Frameworks. J. Phys. Chem. C 2017, 121, 15135–15144.
  • Stoneburner, S. J.; Livermore, V.; McGreal, M. E.; Yu, D.; Vogiatzis, K. D.; Snurr, R. Q.; Gagliardi, L. Catechol-Ligated Transition Metals: A Quantum Chemical Study on a Promising System for Gas Separation. J. Phys. Chem. C 2017, 121, 10463–10469.
  • Vogiatzis, K. D.; Li Manni, G.; Stoneburner, S. J.; Ma, D.; Gagliardi, L. Systematic Expansion of Active Spaces beyond the CASSCF Limit: A GASSCF/SplitGAS Benchmark Study. J. Chem. Theory Comput. 2015, 11, 3010–3021.
  • Lee, K.; Isley, W. C.; Dzubak, A. L.; Verma, P.; Stoneburner, S. J.; Lin, L. C.; Howe, J. D.; Bloch, E. D.; Reed, D. A.; Hudson, M. R.; Brown, C. M.; Long, J. R.; Neaton, J. B.; Smit, B.; Cramer, C. J.; Truhlar, D. G.; Gagliardi, L. Design of a Metal-Organic Framework with Enhanced Back Bonding for Separation of N2 and CH4. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 698–704.