Structural buckling can lead to failure, but beyond the initial onset of buckling there exists a stable region within which there may be no material damage, the structure retains the load carrying capacity, and can recover fully elastically when unloaded. Reclaiming this region as valid design space requires the full understanding of changes in the structure that take place in this post buckled region that precede failure. In addition, there is also a critical need for a monitoring technique that can measure the extent of excursion of a given structural element into the post buckled region and ensure that there is sufficient margin of safety. Such a monitoring technique based on vibration characteristics of buckled structures is proposed in this paper. In this research, to determine the feasibility of such an approach, the natural frequencies and mode shapes of an aluminum shear panel were monitored while the panel was undergoing different levels of buckling under uniform edge shear. The changes seen in frequencies and mode shapes were found to a measure indicative of the level of buckling deformation.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.