Structural damage detection and monitoring is one of the major maintenance activities in transportation, processing and civil engineering. Current procedures are based on scheduled inspections which are often time/labour consuming and expensive. Guided ultrasonic waves offer the ability of inspecting large structures with a small number of transducers. Recent developments in smart sensor technologies allow for integration of these transducers with monitored structures. This is associated with a new design philosophy leading to more efficient and economically attractive structures. The paper briefly discusses various damage detection methods based on structural, ultrasonic and guided ultrasonic waves. The focus is on recent research advances in damage monitoring techniques, smart sensor technologies and signal processing.