Thank you for your suggestion. I did see in several places that using LS-DYNA would be a better approach towards solving this problem. I am not familiar with this solver at all, however when trying to learn, I am unable to find good resources. LS-DYNA is a separate software altogether, and while ANSYS offers this, I am unable to find good starting points for the project. Would you happen to know of any good resources?
As for the static structural analysis, I am still interested to pursue this approach. It has had success according to the paper and I just want to atleast recreate what is given here, followed by implementing friction.