A new model for radiation heat transfer in DI diesel engines has been developed. The model calculates the heat transfer rates as a function of the instantaneous values of the radiation zone size, radiation temperature, and of the absorption coefficient of the soot-laden gas. The soot concentration levels are calculated from kinetic expressions for soot formation and burnup. The spatial distribution of the radiant heat flux along the combustion chamber walls is calculated by a zonal model. The model has been applied to a conventional heavy duty highway DI diesel engine to generate predictions over a range of engine speeds and loads. These predictions indicated a wide variation in the ratio of radiation to the total heat transfer, ranging from less than ten percent to more than thirty percent, depending on the speed and load. Simulations were also made of the same engine lined with ceramic materials, for which the predicted ratio of radiation to the total heat transfer was found to be substantially increased.