Verification Benchmarks and Validation of MAT261 for High Energy Dynamic Impact ApplicationsAdvanced computational methods for composite structures can enable smarter testing and potentially certification by analysis. These methods, known as progressive damage and failure analysis (PDFA) methods, can predict lamina level mechanics including failure and subsequent propagation. When introduced into a commercial off the shelf finite element solver such as ABAQUS, LS-DYNA, or ANSYS, it enables end users to effectively exercise PDFA methods; however, it requires an understanding of the assumed mechanics and underlying coded response. In this paper, verification benchmarks developed under the NASA Advanced Composite Consortium for a class of PDFA methods known as continuum damage mechanics approaches are applied to the native LS-DYNA material model MAT261. As a result of the verification, an instability was discovered and subsequently corrected with an engineering solution. The results of the preliminary MAT261 simulations for high energy dynamic impact and the engineering solution are compared and a discussion about the significance is presented.