Traditional hot gas path film cooling characterization involves the use of wind tunnel models to measure the spatial adiabatic effectiveness (η) and heat transfer coefficient (h) distributions. Periodic unsteadiness in the flow, however, causes fluctuations in both η and h. In this paper we present a novel inverse heat transfer methodology that may be used to approximate the η(t) and h(t) waveforms. The technique is a modification of the traditional transient heat transfer technique that, with steady flow conditions only, allows the determination of η and h from a single experiment by measuring the surface temperature history as the material changes temperature after sudden immersion in the flow. However, unlike the traditional transient technique, this new algorithm contains no assumption of steadiness in the formulation of the governing differential equations for heat transfer into a semi-infinite slab. The technique was tested by devising arbitrary waveforms for η and h at a point on a film cooled surface and running a computational simulation of an actual experimental model experiencing those flow conditions. The surface temperature history was corrupted with random noise to simulate actual surface temperature measurements and then fed into an algorithm developed here that successfully and consistently approximated the η(t) and h(t) waveforms.