Precision sensing in the characterization of complex additive manufacturing processes such as the Automated Fibre Placement (AFP) technique is important since the process involves a significant level of uncertainty in terms of quality and integrity of the manufactured product. These uncertainties can be monitored by embedding optical fibre Bragg grating (FBGs) sensors which provide accurate and simultaneous measurement of strain and temperature during the AFP process. The embedded sensors have been shown to remain resilient in continuous health monitoring after manufacturing. The thermal history obtained from the FBG sensors demonstrates a reduction of temperature on the bottom ply by up to 25% when the plies are laid one above the other. A numerical tool is developed to identify the physical parameters which may be responsible for the rise/fall of the temperature during ply layup. The numerical findings agree well with the sensor data and is extended to capture a breadth of parametric studies through the layup simulation. The model provides a comprehensive insight to the characteristics of the laid and the laying ply from a thermo-mechanics perspective.