The development and application of a two-dimensional axisymmetric finite element model for cylindrical adhesive joints is presented. The finite element model in cylindrical coordinates is derived using energy techniques. The capability of modeling material properties as a function of temperature is implemented in the finite element model. The model is used in an adhesive joint design procedure to optimize the stacking sequence of the composite, the bond thickness and bond length. Based on the results of the finite element model, the displacement fields and the overall dimensional stability of an optimized joint are determined.