Ben Pape 2:23 AM (3 hours ago) to me
I am not at Columbia as of 2014 but still keep in touch with the Civil Engineering department. I would get in touch with ASME. (Mechanical Engineers Society) and I'm sure there's a robotics club. The summer courses look great and look like they would be very informative for a student looking to get some hands-on action actually building things. Unfortunately I think most civil engineers will want an internship with a construction or design/engineering firm. Based on the article below Hod Lipson might be a good Professor to reach out to. Looks like he runs something called the Creative Machines Lab so at the very least he could point you in the right direction. https://www.creativemachineslab.com/
Here's a list of the Mechanical Engineering clubs: https://me.columbia.edu/resources?gsarqfields%5Bresourcetypetid%5D=37
They just opened up a new Makerspace on campus and this article has some links to professors to contact: https://engineering.columbia.edu/news/makerspace-expansion
Do you want me to email any of these guys? I would but I've never met any of them. Let me know how it goes or if you're back in NYC anytime soon.