The heat transfer behavior of a high-temperature cylindrical heater is evaluated over a wide range of flow conditions in a circular cross section experimental facility. Hot surface heaters exhibit promising energy addition functionality to support multi-fuel operation in compression ignition (CI) engines, but their thermal performance has not been carefully analyzed. This work aims to investigate heat transfer of a ceramic heater in a well-controlled environment. Calculations are performed to predict flow conditions within a light-duty CI engine throughout the operating cycle. Based on these results, an experimental apparatus is designed to emulate engine-relevant air flow. Surface temperature measurements are conducted to estimate convective cooling behavior, and an analytical heat transfer model is developed to account for conductive and radiative heat transfer processes. By identifying the capabilities and limitations of state-of-the-art heating devices, this analysis provides valuable insight into the design requirements of next-generation ignition systems.