An experimental study was conducted to measure the heat transfer in a direct injection 2.3 ℓ single cylinder diesel engine. The engine was operated at speeds ranging from 1000 to 2100 RPM and at a variety of loads. The heat transfer was measured using a total heat flux probe, operating on the principle of a thin film thermocouple, sensitive to both the convective and radiative heat flux. The probe was located in the head at two locations: opposite the piston bowl and opposite the piston crown (squish region). The measurements showed about twice as large peak heat flux in the bowl location than in the crown location for fired conditions, while under motoring conditions the relationship was reversed and the peak heat flux was slightly higher in the crown position. The experimental profiles of total heat flux were compared to the predictions obtained using a detailed thermodynamic cycle code, which incorporates highly resolved models of convective and radiative heat transfer. The predictions were found to be in very good agreement with the measurements, both in magnitude and in trends with engine load and speed. The model was found to reproduce very well the observed spatial variations in peak heat flux between the two head locations.