For someone who is not on site (like me) It’s very hard to go your way. Any advice ?
I usually said I could meet for coffee or lunch and let them pick the place. The location usually signaled to me how long the meeting would be - coffee at starbucks is the shortest and nice lunch restaurant is longest.
If you are going to be in the US for a week, you could try to fill that week with meetings. You can probably get two or three a day if you play your cards right.
If not, you can try to chat by phone. It's harder - but still doable.
BUT... because you are a technical guy (I read your website) - the process could be different for you...
I would start the same way: ask around to figure out what you really want to do - this is universal. Then, with this information, I would craft a short email (describing what you want, and your technical skills) that is easy for people to forward - and send it around.
Good luck. And reach out with any questions. Happy to help. - lrandolph (at) middlebury.edu