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A composite laminate ultrasonic inspection finite element model is implemented.Waveform analysis is used to compare experimental and simulated inspection data.Composite material properties are characterized to validate the model.A composite delamination site is enveloped through a Bayesian inverse solution.Damage characterization uncertainties are quantified.Ultrasonic damage detection and characterization is commonly used in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) of aerospace composite components. In recent years there has been an increased development of guided wave based methods. In real materials and structures, these dispersive waves result in complicated behavior in the presence of complex damage scenarios. Model-based characterization methods utilize accurate three dimensional finite element models (FEMs) of guided wave interaction with realistic damage scenarios to aid in defect identification and classification. This work describes an inverse solution for realistic composite damage characterization by comparing the wavenumber-frequency spectra of experimental and simulated ultrasonic inspections. The composite laminate material properties are first verified through a Bayesian solution (Markov chain Monte Carlo), enabling uncertainty quantification surrounding the characterization. A study is undertaken to assess the efficacy of the proposed damage model and comparative metrics between the experimental and simulated output. The FEM is then parameterized with a damage model capable of describing the typical complex damage created by impact events in composites. The damage is characterized through a transdimensional Markov chain Monte Carlo solution, enabling a flexible damage model capable of adapting to the complex damage geometry investigated here. The posterior probability distributions of the individual delamination petals as well as the overall envelope of the damage site are determined.