In this paper, numerical simulation analyses of the thermal buckling behavior of laminated composite shells with embedded shape memory alloy (SMA) wires were performed to investigate the effect of embedded SMA wires on the characteristics of thermal buckling. In order to simulate the thermomechanical behavior of SMA wires, the constitutive equation of the SMA wires was formulated ill the form of an ABAQUS user subroutine. The computational program was verified by showing the response of the pseudoelasticity and shape memory effect (SME) at various temperatures and stress levels. Modeling of the laminated composite shells with embedded SMA wires and thermal buckling analyses were performed with the use of the ABAQUS code linked with the subroutine of the formulated SMA constitutive equations. The thermal buckling analyses of the composite shells with embedded SMA wires show that the critical buckling temperature can be increased and the thermal buckling deformation can be decreased by using the activation force of embedded SMA wire actuators. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.