This paper presents validated results of the optimization of cutouts in laminated carbon-fibre composite panels by adapting a recently developed optimization procedure known as Evolutionary Structural Optimization (ESO). An initial small cutout was introduced into each finite element model and elements were removed from around this cutout based on a predefined rejection criterion. In the examples presented, the limiting ply within each plate element around the cutout was determined based on the Tsai-Hill failure index. Plates with values below the product of the average Tsai-Hill number and a rejection ratio (RR) were subsequently removed. This process was iterated until a steady state was reached and the RR was then incremented by an evolutionary rate (ER). The above steps were repeated until a cutout of a desired area was achieved.