0263-8223/$ see front matter 2009 Elsevier Ltd. A doi:10.1016/j.compstruct.2009.01.006 * Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 514 690 4151; fax E-mail address: Hossein.firstname.lastname@example.org (H. Designing an optimized composite laminate requires finding the minimum number of layers, and the best fiber orientation and thickness for each layer. To date, several optimization methods have been introduced to solve this challenging problem, which is often non-linear, non-convex, multimodal, and multidimensional, and might be expressed by both discrete and continuous variables. These optimization techniques can be studied in two parts: constant stiffness design and variable stiffness designs. This paper concentrates on the first part, which deals with composite laminates with uniform stacking sequence through their entire structure. The main optimization methods in this class are described, their characteristic features are contrasted, and the potential areas requiring more investigation are highlighted. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.