Why did the professor ask you to build the model in ANSYS if he has a license for ABAQUS? I would love to hear the explanation for that!
I used ABAQUS more than a decade ago. I often build a model in ANSYS and write out an input file for NASTRAN. That works fairly well.
You can write out the input file from Mechanical in a few different formats. Try writing out the file from ANSYS in these three formats: ABAQUS, Ansys and NASTRAN. One of them may import into ABAQUS more cleanly than another.
You can also contact the authors of the paper and ask if they would send you the input deck.
Go find community resources for ABAQUS. I see the ABAQUS Student Edition is limited to 1,000 nodes. Your shell model has 11,500 nodes which exceeds the limit. I suggest you start by learning how to run a simple cantilever beam shell model in ABAQUS.
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