Computational and experimental methodologies have unique features for the analysis and solution of a wide variety of engineering problems. Computations provide results that depend on selection of input parameters such as geometry, material constants, and boundary conditions which, for correct modeling purposes, have to be appropriately chosen. In addition, it is relatively easy to modify the input parameters in order to computationally investigate different conditions. Experiments provide solutions which characterize the actual behavior of the object of interest subjected to specific operating conditions. However, it is impractical to experimentally perform parametric investigations. This paper discusses the use of a hybrid, computational and experimental, approach for study and optimization of mechanical components. Computational techniques are used for modeling the behavior of the object of interest while it is experimentally tested using noninvasive optical techniques. Comparisons are performed through a fringe predictor program used to facilitate the correlation between both techniques. In addition, experimentally obtained quantitative information, such as displacements and shape, can be applied in the computational model in order to improve this correlation. The result is a validated computational model that can be used for performing quantitative analyses and structural optimization. Practical application of the hybrid approach is illustrated with a representative example which demonstrates the viability of the approach as an engineering tool for structural analysis and optimization.