Understanding the shear strain, viscoelastic response, and onset of damage within bonded composites is critical to their design, processing, and reliability. This presentation will discuss the multidisciplinary research conducted which led to the conception, development, and demonstration of two methods for measuring the shear within a bonded joint – dualplane digital image correlation (DIC) and a micro-cantilever shear sensor. The dual plane DIC method was developed to measure the strain field on opposing sides of a transparent single-lap joint in order to spatially quantify the joint shear strain. The sensor consists of a single glass fiber cantilever beam with a radially-grown forest of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) within a capillary pore. When the fiber is deflected, the internal radial CNT array is compressed against an electrode within the pore and the corresponding decrease in electrical resistance is correlated with the external loading. When this small, simple, and low-cost sensor was integrated within a composite bonded joint and cycled in tension, the onset of damage prior to joint failure was observed. In a second sample configuration, both the dual plane DIC and the hair sensor detected viscoplastic changes in the strain of the sample in response to continued loading.