Rauno Sairinen is a Professor of environmental policy at the University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu and scientific leader of the LYY Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society.  With its 15 professors, seven disciplines, and several ongoing large research projects LYY Institute has become one of the leading places of social-scientific environmental research in Finland.

Professor Sairinen is currently leading a international research project investigating the social dimensions of mining development in Finland and the local and regional governance challenges. The the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining is a collaborating partner on this project.

From his science background Sairinen is a political scientist and sociologist. His major research themes have concerned social impact assessment, urban and rural planning, environmental and natural resources governance and social aspects of climate change. His studies have concerned several sub-sectors of environmental policies such as energy and climate policy, mining, land use planning, transportation planning, housing and building. Sairinen has published widely in the area of social scientific environmental research both internationally and in Finnish. Four of his publications have been used as course books for environmental policy in Finnish universities.

During 2007-2010, Sairinen worked as a professor of social-scientific environmental research and as a leader of “the Forest, Environment and Society” Centre of Competence. During 1999–2007 he worked as a research director at the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the Helsinki University of Technology.

Professor Sairinen has also held several service positions. For example, 2000-2004 he served on the board of directors of the Finnish Environment Institute, the largest environmental research centre in Finland. In 1993-94 he was chairman of the National Association of Urban Planning in Finland. During 2011-13 he has been co-chair of the SIA section of the IAIA International Association of Impact Assessment.

Sairinen has extensive experience as a responsible research leader. These projects include large EU-funded projects, as well as domestic academic and applied research projects. Thus, he has wide experience in creating and coordinating research projects and in leading multidisciplinary research groups. During last years his projects have concerned mainly social responsibility of extractive industries both in Finland and Central Asia. 

In the field of social impact assessment he has worked also as a practitioner in Finland. These projects have concerned road and harbour planning, nuclear waste disposal and town planning. Sairinen is also an experienced lecturer. Through his projects, he regularly acts as a supervisor of doctoral students. He has organized both domestic and international courses, seminars and conferences.