The present work has proposed a 2-D triangular high precision finite element (HPFE) based on Classical Laminated Plate Theory (CLPT). This high precision plate element with 38 degrees of freedom is used to obtain fundamental frequencies and the mode shapes of a passive composite plate. A standard FEM package-ABAQUS is used to verify the FEM code and to validate the results. The same element is subsequently used with piezoelectric sensory network to develop an active damping matrix that tends to suppress vibration. Control algorithm based on classical negative velocity feedback is used. Simulations are carried out on smart composite plates in time domain for effective vibration suppression. The effect of size and location of PVDF film on settling time and damping ratio at different control gains is studied. The high precision piezoelectric finite element is later used to identify damage signals in a ribbon-reinforced composite. In order to identify the damage, voltage profile is obtained for healthy and delaminated composite plates. A change in sensing voltage is observed at simulated damage locations in comparison to the healthy laminate for two different configurations used in the numerical analysis.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.